(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The garden of Kama and other love lyrics from India"

: 






THE GARDEN 
I OF KAMA 



-CD I 




Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 

by 

Hilary Nicholls 



THE GARDEN OF KAMA 



PHE GARDEN OF KAMA 



THE GARDEN 
OF KAMA 

AND OTHER LOVE LYRICS FROM INDIA 

Arranged in Verse by LAURENCE HOPE 

Illustrated by BYAM SHAW 




LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN 
NEW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANY 



First printed 'November 1901 

New Impressions October 1902; March, November 1903 

May, December 1904; August 1905; January, August 1906 

April, 'November 1907; August 1908; August 1909 

AVn; Edition September 1910 

AV w Impressions September 1912; February 1914 

Illustrated Edition October 1914 



Copyright 1901 y William Helnemann. 





CONTENTS 



"Less than the Dust" page i 

"To the Unattainable" 2 
" In the Early, Pearly Morning "; Song by Valgovind 3 
Reverie of Mahomed Akram at the Tamarind Tank 5 

Verses 9 

Song of Khan Zada i o 

The Teak Forest 1 1 

Valgovind's Boat Song 1 5 

Kashmiri Song by Juma 1 6 

Zira: in Captivity 1 7 

Marriage Thoughts: by Morsellin Khan 20 
To the Unattainable: Lament of Mahomed Akram 2 2 

Mahomed Akram's Appeal to the Stars 2 3 

Reminiscence of Mahomed Akram 2 5 

Story by Lalla-ji, the Priest 2 7 

Request 2 9 

Story of Udaipore: Told by Lalla-ji, the Priest 30 

Valgovind's Song in the Spring 3 3 

Youth 34 

When Love is Over: Song of Khan Zada 3 5 

"Golden Eyes" 36 

Kotri, by the River 39 

Farewell 4 1 

AfridiLove 42 

Yasmini 46 

Ojira, to Her Lover 5 o 

Thoughts: Mahomed Akram 52 



Contents Prayer P a g e 53 

The Aloe 5 5 

Memory 56 

The First Lover 5 8 

Khan Zada's Song on the Hillside 5 9 

Deserted Gipsy's Song: Hillside Camp 60 

The Plains 62 

" Lost Delight ": After the Hazara War 6 3 

Unfbrgotten 66 

SongofFaizUlla 68 

Story of Lilavanti 69 

The Garden by the Bridge 7 2 

Fate Knows no Tears 7 5 

Verses: FaizUlla 78 

Two Songs by Sitara, of Kashmir 7 9 

Second Song: The Girl from Baltistan 8 i 

Palm Trees by the Sea 8 4 

Song by Gulbaz 8 7 

Kashmiri Song 8 8 

Reverie of Ormuz the Persian 8 9 

Sunstroke 9 1 

Adoration 92 

Three Songs of Zahir-u-Din 9 5 

Second Song 97 

Third Song, written during Fever 99 
The Regret of the Ranee in the Hall of Peacocks i o i 

Protest: by Zahir-u-Din 103 

Famine Song 107 

The Window Overlooking the Harbour 109 

Y) 



Back to the Border 

Reverie: Zahir-u-Din 

Sea Song 

To the Hills! 

Till I Wake 

His Rubies: Told by Valgovind 

Song of Taj Mahomed 

The Garden of Kama: Kama the Indian Eros 

Camp Follower's Song, Gomal River 

Song of the Colours: by Taj Mahomed 

Lalila, to the Ferengi Lover 

On the City Wall 

"Love Lightly" 

No Rival like the Past 

Verse by Taj Mahomed 

Lines by Taj Mahomed 

" There is no breeze to cool the heat of Love ' 

Malay Song 

The Temple Dancing Girl 

Hirah-Singh's Farewell to Burmah 

Starlight 

Sampan Song 

Song of the Devoted Slave 

The Singer 

Malaria 

Fancy 

Feroza 

This Month the Almonds bloom at Kandahar 



page 



1 1 Contents 

14 

17 
118 

122 

123 

125 

127 



136 

I 37 

138 
141 

'43 
*45 

J 47 
148 

149 

152 

154 



156 



vij 



A LIST OF THE COLOURED 
ILLUSTRATIONS 

The Garden of Kama Frontispiece 
Less than the Dust to face page i 
Zira: in Captivity i 8 
To the Unattainable : Lament of Mahomed Akram 2 2 
Reminiscence of Mahomed Akram 24 
Valgovind's Song in the Spring 32 
Afridi Love 42 
Ojira, to her Lover 50 
Deserted Gipsy's Song: Hillside Camp 60 
The Story of Lilavanti 70 
The Garden by the Bridge 72 
Song by Gulbaz 86 
Reverie of Ormuz the Persian 90 
Three Songs of Zahir-u-Din 94 
The Regret of the Ranee in the Hall of the Pea- 
cocks 1 02 
Famine Song 106 
Reverie: Zahir-u-Din: "For a thousand years 
'neath a thousand skies night has brought men 
Love" 112 
His Rubies 1 1 8 
Lalila to the Ferengi Lover 130 
" Love Lightly " 134 
"There is no Breeze to Cool the Heat of Love" 138 
The Temple Dancing Girl 144 
Song of the Devoted Slave 148 
Feroza 154 



IX 



LESS THAN THE DUST 




LESS THAN THE DUST 

JTHAN THE DUST, BENEATH THY 

Chariot wheel, 

Less than the rust, that never stained thy Sword, 
Less than the trust thou hast in me, Oh, Lord, 
Even less than these! 

Less than the weed, that grows beside thy door, 
Less than the speed, of hours, spent far from thee, 
Less than the need thou hast in life of me. 
Even less am I. 

Since I, Oh, Lord, am nothing unto thee, 
See here thy Sword, I make it keen and bright, 
Love's last reward, Death, comes to me to-night, 
Farewell, Zahir-u-din. 



B 




TO THE UNATTAINABLE 

H, THAT MY BLOOD WERE WATER, 

thou athirst, 

And thou and I in some far Desert land, 
How would I shed it gladly, if but first 
It touched thy lips, before it reached the sand. 

Once, Ah, the Gods were good to me, I threw 
Myself upon a poison snake, that crept 
Where my Beloved a lesser love we knew 
Than this which now consumes me wholly slept. 

But thou; Alas, what can I do for thee? 
By Fate, and thine own beauty, set above 
The need of all or any aid from me, 
Too high for service, as too far for love. 







IN THE EARLY, PEARLY MORNING: 
SONG BY VALGOVIND $& 



"HE FIELDS ARE FULL OF POPPIES, 

and the skies are very blue, 

By the Temple in the coppice, I wait, Beloved, for you. 
The level land is sunny, and the errant air is gay, 
With scent of rose & honey; will you come to me to-day? 

From carven walls above me, smile lovers; many a pair. 
<c Oh, take this rose & love me! " she has twined it in her hair. 
He advances, she retreating, pursues and holds her fast, 
The sculptor left them meeting, in a close embrace at last. 

Through centuries together, in the carven stone they lie, 
In the glow of golden weather, and endless azure sky. 
Oh, that we, who have for pleasure so short & scant a stay, 
Should waste our summer leisure; will you come to me to-day? 

The Temple bells are ringing, for the marriage month has come. 
I hear the women singing, and the throbbing of the drum. 
And when the song is failing, or the drums a moment mute, 
The weirdly wistful wailing of the melancholy flute. 

Little Life has got to offer, and little man to lose, 
Since to-day Fate deigns to proffer, Oh, wherefore, then refuse 
To take this transient hour, in the dusky Temple gloom 
While the poppies are in flower, and the mangoe trees abloom. 

And if Fate remember later, and come to claim her due, 
What sorrow will be greater than the Joy I had with you? 
For to-day, lit by your laughter, between the crushing years, 
I will chance, in the hereafter, eternities of tears. 




REVERIE OF MAHOMED AKRAM 
AT THE TAMARIND TANK 




* HE DESERT IS PARCHED IN THE 
burning sun 

And the grass is scorched and white. 
But the sand is passed, and the march is done, 
We are camping here to-night. 
I sit in the shade of the Temple walls, 
While the cadenced water evenly falls, 
And a peacock out of the Jungle calls 
To another, on yonder tomb. 
Above, half seen, in the lofty gloom, 
Strange works of a long dead people loom, 
Obscene and savage and half effaced 
An elephant hunt, a musicians' feast 
And curious matings of man and beast; 
What did they mean to the men who are long since dust? 
Whose fingers traced, 
In this arid waste, 

These rioting, twisted, figures of love and 
lust. 

Strange, weird things that no man may say, 
Things Humanity hides away;- 
Secretly done, 

Catch the light of the living day, 
Smile in the sun. 




Cruel things that man may not name, Reverie of 

Naked here, without fear or shame, Mahomed 

Laugh in the carven stone. Aknim 

Deep in the Temple's innermost Shrine is set, 

Where the bats and the shadows dwell, 

The worn and ancient Symbol of Life, at rest 

In its oval shell, 

By which the men, who, of old, the land possessed, 

Represented their Great Destroying Power. 

I cannot forget 

That, just as my life was touching its fullest flower, 

Love came and destroyed it all in a single hour, 

Therefore the dual Mystery suits me well. 

Sitting alone, 

The tank's deep water is cool and sweet, 
Soothing and fresh to the wayworn feet, 
Dreaming, under the Tamarind shade, 
One silently thanks the men who made 
So green a place in this bitter land 
Of sunburnt sand. 

The Peacocks scream and the grey Doves coo, 
Little green, talkative Parrots woo, 
And small grey Squirrels, with fear askance, 
At alien me, in their furtive glance, 




Reverie of 
Mahomed 
Akram 




Come shyly, with quivering fur, to see 
The stranger under their Tamarind-tree. 

Daylight dies, 

The Camp fires redden like angry eyes, 

The Tents show white, 

In the glimmering light, 

Spirals of tremulous smoke arise, to the purple skies, 

And the hum of the Camp sounds like the sea, 

Drifting over the sand to me. 

Afar, in the Desert some wild voice sings 

To a jangling zither with minor strings, 

And, under the stars growing keen above, 

I think of the thing that I love. 

A beautiful thing, alert, serene, 

With passionate, dreaming, wistful eyes, 

Dark and deep as mysterious skies, 

Seen from a vessel at sea. 

Alas, you drifted away from me, 

And Time and Space have rushed in between, 

But they cannot undo the Thing-that-has-been, 

Though it never again may be. 

You were mine, from dusk until dawning light, 

For the perfect whole of that bygone night 

You belonged to me! 



They say that Love is a light thing 
A foolish thing and a slight thing 
A ripe fruit, rotten at core, 
They speak in this futile fashion 
To me, who am wracked with passion, 
Tormented beyond compassion, 
For ever and ever more. 

They say that Possession lessens a lover's delight, 
As radiant mornings fade into afternoon. 
I held what I loved in my arms for many a night, 
Yet ever the morning lightened the sky too soon. 

Beyond our tents the sands stretch level and far, 
Around this little oasis of Tamarind trees. 
A curious, Eastern fragrance fills the breeze 
From the ruinous Temple garden where roses are. 

I dream of the rose-like perfume that fills your hair, 
Of times when my lips were free of your soft closed eyes, 
While down in the tank the waters ripple and rise 
And the flying foxes silently cleave the air. 

The present is subtly welded into the past, 
My love of you with the purple Indian dusk, 
With its clinging scent of sandal incense and musk, 
And withering jasmin flowers. 



Reverie of 
Mahomed 
Akram 



Reverie of My eyes grow dim and my senses fail at last, 

Mahomed While the lonely hours 

Akram Follow each other, silently, one by one, 

Till the night is almost done. 

Then weary, and drunk with dreams, with my garments damp 

And heavy with dew, I wander towards the camp. 

Tired, with a brain in which fancy and fact are blent 

I stumble across the ropes till I reach my tent. 

And then to rest. To ensweeten my sleep with lies 

To dream I lie in the light of your long lost eyes, 

My lips set free, 

To love and linger over your soft loose hair 

To dream I lay your delicate beauty bare 

To solace my fevered eyes. 

Ah, if my life might end in a night like this 

Drift into death from dreams of your granted kiss! 



8 



VERSES 

OU ARE MY GOD, AND I WOULD 

fain adore You 

With sweet and secret rites of other days. 
Burn scented oil in silver lamps before You, 
Pour perfume on Your feet with prayer and praise. 

Yet are we one; Your gracious condescension 
Granted, and grants, the loveliness I crave. 
One, in the perfect sense of Eastern mention, 
" Gold and the Bracelet, Water and the Wave." 





SONG OF KHAN ZADA 

S ONE MAY SIP A STRANGER'S 
Bowl 

You gave yourself but not your soul. 
I wonder, now that time has passed, 
Where you will come to rest at last. 

You gave your beauty for an hour, 
I held it gently as a flower. 
You wished to leave me, told me so, 
I kissed your feet and let you go. 





10 



THE TEAK FOREST 

WHETHER I LOVED YOU WHO 
shall say? 
Whether I drifted down your way 
In the endless River of Chance & Change, 
And you woke the strange 
Unknown longings that have no names, 
But burn us all in their hidden flames, 
Who shall say? 

Life is a strange and a wayward thing: 
We heard the bells of the Temples ring, 
The married children, in passing, sing. 
The month of marriage, the month of spring, 
Was full of the breath of sunburnt flowers 
That bloom in a fiercer light than ours, 
And, under a sky more fiercely blue, 
I came to you! 

You told me tales of your vivid life 

Where death was cruel and danger rife 

Of deep dark forests, of poisoned trees, 

Of pains and passions that scorch and freeze, 

Of southern noontides and eastern nights, 

Where love grew frantic with strange delights, 

While men were slaying and maidens danced, 

Till I, who listened, lay still, entranced. 

Then, swift as a swallow heading south, 

I kissed your mouth! 1 1 



The Teak One night when the plains were bathed in blood 
Forest From sunset light in a crimson flood, 

We wandered under the young teak trees 

Whose branches whined in the light night breeze; 

You led me down to the water's brink, 

" The Spring where the Panthers come to drink 

At night; there is always water here 

Be the season never so parched and sere." 

Have we souls of beasts in the forms of men? 

I fain would have tasted your life-blood then. 

The night fell swiftly; this sudden land 

Can never lend us a twilight strand 

'Twixt the daylight shore and the ocean night, 

But takes as it gives at once, the light. 

We laid us down on the steep hillside, 

While far below us wild peacocks cried, 

And we sometimes heard, in the sunburnt grass, 

The stealthy steps of the Jungle pass. 

We listened; knew not whether they went 

On love or hunger the more intent. 

And under your kisses I hardly knew 

Whether I loved or hated you. 

But your words were flame and your kisses fire, 
And who shall resist a strong desire? 
Not I, whose life is a broken boat 
On a sea of passions, adrift, afloat. 

12 



And, whether I came in love or hate, The Teak 

That I came to you was written by Fate Forest 

In every hue of the blood-red sky, 
In every tone of the peacocks' cry. 

While every gust of the Jungle night 
Was fanning the flame you had set alight. 
For these things have power to stir the blood 
And compel us all to their own chance mood. 
And to love or not we are no more free 
Than a ripple to rise and leave the sea. 

We are ever and always slaves of these, 

Of the suns that scorch and the winds that freeze, 

Of the faint sweet scents of the sultry air, 

Of the half heard howl from the for off lair. 

These chance things master us ever. Compel 

To the heights of Heaven, the depths of Hell. 

Whether I love you? You do not ask, 
Nor waste yourself on the thankless task. 
I give your kisses at least return, 
What matter whether they freeze or burn. 
I feel the strength of your fervent arms, 
What matter whether it heals or harms. 

You are wise; you take what the Gods have sent. 
You ask no questions, but rest content. 
So I am with you to take your kiss, 

13 



The Teak And perhaps I value you more for this. 

Forest For this is Wisdom; to love, to live, 

To take what Fate, or the Gods, may give, 
To ask no question, to make no prayer, 
To kiss the lips and caress the hair, 
Speed passion's ebb as you greet its flow, 
To have, to hold, and, in time, let go! 

And this is our Wisdom: we rest together 

On the great lone hills in the storm-filled weather, 

And watch the skies as they pale and burn, 

The golden stars in their orbits turn, 

While Love is with us, and Time and Peace, 

And life has nothing to give but these. 

But, whether you love me, who shall say, 

Or whether you, drifting down my way 

In the great sad River of Chance and Change, 

With your looks so weary and words so strange, 

Lit my soul from some hidden flame 

To a passionate longing without a name, 

Who shall say? 

Not I, who am but a broken boat, 

Content for awhile to drift afloat 

In the little noontide of love's delights 

Between two Nights. 





VALGOVIND'S BOAT SONG 

ATERS GLISTEN AND 

sunbeams quiver, 
The wind blows fresh and free. 
Take my boat to your breast, 
Oh, River! 
Carry me out to Sea! 

This land is laden with fruit and grain 
With never a place left free for flowers, 
A fruitful mother ; but I am fain 
For brides in their early bridal hours. 

Take my boat to your breast, Oh, River! 
Carry me out to Sea! 

The Sea, beloved by a thousand ships, 
Is maiden ever, and fresh and free. 
Ah, for the touch of her cool green lips, 
Carry me out to Sea! 

Take my boat to your breast, dear River, 
And carry it out to Sea! 




KASHMIRI SONG BY JUMA 

>OU NEVER LOVED ME, AND YET 

to save me, 

One unforgettable night you gave me 

Such chill embraces as the snow-covered 

heights 

Receive from clouds, in northern, Auroral nights. 
Such keen communion as the frozen mere 
Has with immaculate moonlight, cold and clear. 
And all desire, 
Like failing fire, 

Died slowly, faded surely, and sank to rest 
Against the delicate chillness of your breast. 



16 






ZIRA: IN CAPTIVITY 



OVE ME A LITTLE, LORD, OR LET ME GO, 

I am so weary walking to and fro 

Through all your lonely halls that were so sweet 

Did they but echo to your coming feet. 



When by the flowered scrolls of lace-like stone 
Our women's windows I am left alone, 
Across the yellow Desert, looking forth, 
I see the purple hills towards the north. 

Behind those jagged Mountains' lilac crest 
Once lay the captive bird's small rifled nest. 
There was my brother slain, my sister bound; 
His blood, her tears, drunk by the thirsty ground. 

Then, while the burning village smoked on high, 
And desecrated all the peaceful sky, 
They took us captive, us, born frank and free, 
On fleet, strong camels through the sandy sea. 

Yet, when we rested, night-times on the sand 
By the rare waters of this weary land, 
Our captors, ere the camp was wrapped in sleep, 
Talked, and I listened, and forgot to weep. 

D 17 



Zira : In " Is he not brave and fair? " they asked, " our King, 
Captivity Slender as one tall palm-tree by a spring; 
Erect, serene, with gravely brilliant eyes, 
As deeply dark as are these desert skies. 

" Truly no bitter fate," they said, and smiled, 
"Awaits the beauty of this captured child!" 
Then something in my heart began to sing, 
And secretly I longed to see the King. 

Sometimes the other maidens sat in tears, 
Sometimes, consoled, they jested at their fears, 
Musing what lovers Time to them would bring; 
But I was silent, thinking of the King. 

Till, when the weary endless sands were passed, 
When, far to south, the city rose at last, 
All speech forsook me and my eyelids fell, 
Since I already loved my Lord so well. 

Then the division : some were sent away 
To merchants in the city; some, they say, 
To summer palaces, beyond the walls. 
But me they took straight to the Sultan's halls. 

Every morning I would wake and say : 
"Ah, sisters, shall I see our Lord to-day?" 
The women robed me, perfumed me, and smiled; 
"When were his feet unfleet to pleasure, child?" 

18 



Z1RA: IN CAPTIVITY 



And tales they told me of his deeds in war 
Of how his name was reverenced afar; 
And, crouching closer in the lamp's faint glow, 
They told me of his beauty, speaking low. 

What need, what need ? the women wasted art; 
I loved you with every fibre of my heart 
Already. My God ! when did I not love you, 
In life, in death, when shall I not love you? 

You never seek me. All day long I lie 
Watching the changes of the far-off sky 
Behind the lattice- work of carven stone. 
And all night long, alas! I lie alone. 

But you come never. Ah, my Lord the King, 
How can you find it well to do this thing? 
Come once, come only: sometimes, as I lie, 
I doubt if I shall see you first, or die. 

Ah, could I hear your footsteps at the door 
Hallow the lintel and caress the floor, 
Then I might drink your beauty, satisfied, 
Die of delight, ere you could reach my side. 

Alas, you come not, Lord: life's flame burns low, 
Faint for a loveliness it may not know, 
Faint for your face, Oh, come come soon to me 
Lest, though you should not, Death should, set me free! 



Zira: In 
Captivity 




MARRIAGE THOUGHTS: BY 
MORSELLIN KHAN 

BRIDEGROOM. 
-W- GIVE YOU MY HOUSE AND MY LANDS, ALL 

golden with harvest; 

My sword, my shield and my jewels, the spoils of my strife, 
My strength and my dreams, and aught I have 
m. gathered of glory, 

And to-night to-night, I shall give you my very life. 

BRIDE. 

I may not raise my eyes, oh my Lord, towards you, 
And I may not speak: what matter? my voice would fail. 
But through my downcast lashes, feeling your beauty, 
I shiver and burn with pleasure beneath my veil. 

YOUNGER SISTERS. 

We throw sweet perfume upon her head, 
And delicate flowers round her bed. 
Ah, would that it were our turn to wed! 

MOTHER. 

I see my daughter, vaguely, through my tears, 
(Ah, lost caresses of my early years!) 
I see the bridegroom, King of men in truth! 
(Ah, my first lover, and my vanished youth!) 

BRIDE. 

Almost I dread this night. My senses fail me. 
How shall I dare to clasp a thing so dear ? 

20 



Many have feared your name, but I your beauty Marriage 

Lord of my life, be gentle to my fear! Thoughts 

YOUNGER SISTERS. 
In the softest silk is our sister dressed, 
With silver and rubies upon her breast, 
Where a dearer treasure to-night will rest. 

DANCING GIRLS. 

See! his hair is like silk, and his teeth are whiter 

Than whitest of jasmin flowers. Pity they marry him thus. 

I would change my jewels against his caresses. 

Verily, sisters, this marriage is greatly a loss to us! 

BRIDE. 

Would that the music ceased and the night drew round us, 
With solitude, shadow, and sound of closing doors, 
So that our lips might meet and our beings mingle, 
While mine drank deep of the essence, beloved, of yours. 

PASSING MENDICANT. 

Out of the joy of your marriage feast, 
Oh, brothers, be good to me. 
The way is long and the Shrine is far, 
Where my weary feet would be. 

And feasting is always somewhat sad 
To those outside the door 
Still ; Love is only a dream, and Life 
Itself is hardly more! 

21 



TO THE UNATTAINABLE: 
LAMENT OF MAHOMED AKRAM 



WOULD HAVE TAKEN GOLDEN STARS FROM 

the sky for your necklace, 

I would have shaken rose-leaves for your rest from all the 

rose-trees. 



f But you had no need; the short sweet grass sufficed for 
your slumber, 
And you took no heed of such trifles as gold or a necklace. 

There is an hour, at twilight, too heavy with memory. 
There is a flower that I fear, for your hair had its fragrance. 

I would have squandered Youth for you, and its hope and its 

promise, 

Before you wandered, careless, away from my useless passion. 

But what is the use of my speech, since I know of no words to 

recall you? 

I am praying that Time may teach, you, your Cruelty, me, 

Forgetfulness. 



22 




TO THE UNATTAINABLE: LAMENT OF 
MAHOMED AKRAM 




MAHOMED AKRAM'S APPEAL 
TO THE STARS 

H, SILVER STARS THAT SHINE ON 

what I love, 

Touch the soft hair and sparkle in the eyes,- 
Send, from your calm serenity above, 
Sleep to whom,sleepless,here,despairing lies. 

Broken, forlorn, upon the Desert sand 
That sucks these tears, and utterly abased, 
Looking across the lonely, level land, 
With thoughts more desolate than any waste. 

Planets that shine on what I so adore, 
Now thrown, the hour is late, in careless rest, 
Protect that sleep, which I may watch no more, 
I, the cast out, dismissed and dispossessed. 

Far in the hillside camp, in slumber lies 
What my worn eyes worship but never see. 
Happier Stars! your myriad silver eyes 
Feast on the quiet face denied to me. 

Loved with a love beyond all words or sense, 
Lost with a grief beyond the saltest tear, 
So lovely, so removed, remote, and hence 
So doubly and so desperately dear! 

23 



Mahomed Stars! from your skies so purple and so calm, 

Akram's That through the centuries your secrets keep, 

Appeal to Send to this worn-out brain some Occult Balm, 

the Stars Send me, for many nights so sleepless, sleep. 

And ere the sunshine of the Desert jars 
My sense with sorrow and another day, 
Through your soft Magic, oh, my Silver Stars! 
Turn sleep to Death in some mysterious way. 



REMINISCENCE OF MAHOMED AKRAM 



REMINISCENCE OF MAHOMED 
AKRAM 

J SHALL NEVER FORGET YOU, NEVER. 
Never escape 
Your memory woven about the beautiful things of life. 
The sudden Thought of your Face is like a Wound 
When it comes unsought 
On some scent of Jasmin, Lilies, or pale Tuberose, 
Any one of the sweet white fragrant flowers, 
Flowers I used to love and lay in your hair. 

Sunset is terribly sad. I saw you stand 

Tall against the red and the gold like a slender palm; 

The light wind stirred your hair as you waved your hand, 

Waved farewell, as ever, serene and calm, 

To me, the passion-wearied and tost and torn, 

Riding down the road in the gathering grey. 

Since that day 

The sunset red is empty, the gold forlorn. 

Often across the Banqueting board at nights 

Men linger about your name in careless praise 

The name that cuts deep into my soul like a knife; 

And the gay guest-faces and flowers and leaves and lights 

Fade away from the failing sense in a haze, 

And the music sways 

Far away in unmeasured distance. . . . 

E 25 



Reminis- 
cence of 
Mahomed 
Akram 



I cannot forget 

I cannot escape. What are the Stars to me? 

Stars that meant so much, too much, in my youth: 

Stars that sparkled about your eyes, 

Made a radiance round your hair, 

What are they now? 

Lingering lights of a Finished Feast, 
Little lingering sparks rather, 
Of a Light that is long gone out. 




26 



STORY BY LALLA-JI, THE 
PRIEST 

.E LOVED THE PLANT WITH A 
keen delight, 
A passionate fervour, strange to see, 
Tended it ardently, day and night, 
Yet never a flower lit up the tree. 

The leaves were succulent, thick, and green, 
And, sessile, out of the snakelike stem 
Rose spine-like fingers, alert and keen, 
To catch at aught that molested them. 

But though they nurtured it day and night, 
With love and labour, the child and he 
Were never granted the longed-for sight 
Of a flower crowning the twisted tree. 

Until one evening a wayworn Priest 
Stopped for the night in the Temple shade 
And shared the fere of their simple feast 
Under the vines and the jasmin laid. 

He, later, wandering round the flowers 
Paused awhile by the blossomless tree. 
The man said: "May it be fault of ours, 
That never its buds my eyes may see? 

27 



Story by " A slip it came from the further East 

Lalla-ji, Many a sunlit summer ago." 

the Priest " It grows in our Jungles," said the Priest, 

" Men see it rarely; but this I know, 

" The Jungle people worship it ; say 
They bury a child around its roots- 
Bury it living: the only way 
To crimson glory of flowers and fruits." 

He spoke in whispers; his furtive glance 
Probing the depths of the garden shade. 
The man came closer, with eyes askance, 
The child beside them shivered, afraid. 

A cold wind drifted about the three, 
Jarring the spines with a hungry sound, 
The spines that grew on the snakelike tree 
And guarded its roots beneath the ground. 







After the fall of the summer rain 
The plant was glorious, redly gay 
Blood-red with blossom. Never again 
Men saw the child in the Temple play. 



REQUEST 

IVE ME YOURSELF ONE HOUR; 
I do not crave 

For any love, or even thought, of me. 
Come, as a Sultan may caress a slave 
And then forget for ever, utterly. 

Come! as west winds, that passing, cool and wet, 
O'er desert places, leave them fields in flower; 
And all my life, for I shall not forget, 
Will keep the fragrance of that perfect hour ! 





29 




STORY OF UDAIPORE: TOLD BY 
LALLA-JI, THE PRIEST 






ND WHEN THE SUMMER HEAT IS GREAT, 
AND EVERY HOUR INTENSE, 
THE MOGHRA, WITH ITS SUBTLE 
FLOWERS, 
INTOXICATES THE SENSE. 

The Coco palms stood tall and slim, against the golden glow, 
And all their grey and graceful plumes were waving to and fro. 

She lay forgetful in the boat, and watched the dying Sun 
Sink slowly lakewards, while the stars replaced him, one by one. 

She saw the marble Temple walls long white reflections make, 
The echoes of their silver bells were blown across the lake. 

The evening air was very sweet; from off the island bowers 
Came scents of Moghra trees in bloom, and Oleander flowers. 

"The Moghra flowers that smell so sweet 
When love's young fancies play; 
The acrid Moghra flowers, still sweet 
Though love be burnt away." 

The boat went driftingjuncontrolled, the rower rowed no more, 
But deftly turned the slender prow towards the further shore. 

30 



The dying sunset touched with gold the Jasmin in his hair; Story of 
His eyes were darkly luminous: she looked and found him fair. Udaipore: 

rp 11 1 

And so persuasively he spoke, she could not say him nay, 
And when his young hands took her own. she smiled & let them ^J 1 ' 

stay. thePriest ' 

And all the youth awake in him, all love of Love in her, 
All scents of white and subtle flowers that filled the twilight air 

Combined together with the night in kind conspiracy 

To do Love service, while the boat went drifting onwards, free. 

" The Moghra flowers, the Moghra flowers, 
While Youth's quick pulses play 
They are so sweet, they still are sweet, 
Though passion burns away." 

Low in the boat the lovers lay, and from his sable curls 
The Jasmin flowers slipped away to rest among the girl's. 

Oh, silver lake and silver night and tender silver sky! 
Where as the hours passed, the moon rose white & cold on high. 

" The Moghra flowers, the Moghra flowers, 
So dear to Youth at play; 
The small and subtle Moghra flowers 
That only last a day." 



Story of 
Udaipore: 
Told by 
Lalla-ji, 
the Priest 



Suddenly, frightened, she awoke, and waking vaguely saw 
The boat had stranded in the sedge that fringed the further 
shore. 

The breeze grown chilly, swayed the palms; she heard, still 

half awake, 

A prowling jackal's hungry cry blown faintly o'er the lake. 

She shivered, but she turned to kiss his soft, remembered face, 
Lit by the pallid light he lay, in Youth's abandoned grace. 

But as her lips met his she paused, in terror and dismay, 
The white moon showed her by her side asleep a Leper lay. 

"Ah Moghra flowers, white Moghra flowers, 
All love is blind, they say; 
The Moghra flowers, so sweet, so sweet, 
Though love be burnt away!" 




VALGOVIND'S SONG IN THE SPRING 



VALGOVIND'S SONG IN THE 
SPRING 



*HE TEMPLE BELLS ARE RINGING, 

The young green corn is springing, 
And the marriage month is drawing very near. 
I lie hidden in the grass, 
And I count the moments pass, 
For the month of marriages is drawing near. 

Soon, ah, soon, the women spread 

The appointed bridal bed 

With hibiscus buds and crimson marriage flowers, 

Where, when all the songs are done, 

And the dear dark night begun, 

I shall hold her in my happy arms for hours. 

She is young and very sweet, 

From the silver on her feet 

To the silver and the flowers in her hair, 

And her beauty makes me swoon, 

As the Moghra trees at noon 

Intoxicate the hot and quivering air. 

Ah, I would the hours were fleet 

As her silver circled feet. 

I am weary of the daytime and the night 

I am weary unto death, 

Oh my rose with jasmin breath, 

With this longing for your beauty and your light. 

* 33 



YOUTH 

AM NOT SURE IF I KNEW THE 

truth 

What his case or crime might be, 
I only know that he pleaded Youth, 
A beautiful, golden plea! 

Youth, with its sunlit, passionate eyes, 
Its roseate velvet skin 
A plea to cancel a thousand lies, 
Or a thousand nights of sin. 

The men who judged him were old and grey, 
Their eyes and their senses dim, 
He brought the light of a warm Spring day 
To the Court-house bare and grim. 

Could he plead in a lovelier way? 
His judges acquitted him. 



34 



WHEN LOVE IS OVER: SONG 
OF KHAN ZADA 

NLY IN AUGUST MY HEART WAS 

aflame, 

Catching the scent of your Wind-stirred hair, 
Now, though you spread it to soften my sleep 
Through the night, I should hardly care. 

Only last August I drank that water 
Because it had chanced to cool your hands; 
When love is over, how little of love 
Even the lover understands! 




35 





GOLDEN EYES 

H AMBER EYES, OH GOLDEN EYES 

Oh Eyes so softly gay! 
Wherein swift fancies fall and rise, 

Grow dark and fade away. 
Eyes like a little limpid pool 
That holds a sunset sky, 
While on its surface, calm and cool, 
Blue water lilies lie. 

Oh Tender Eyes, oh Wistful Eyes, 
You smiled on me one day, 
And all my life, in glad surprise, 
Leapt up and pleaded " Stay! ' 
Alas, oh cruel, starlike eyes, 
So grave and yet so gay, 
You went to lighten other skies, 
Smiled once and passed away. 

Oh, you whom I name "Golden Eyes," 

Perhaps I used to know 

Your beauty under other skies 

In lives lived long ago. 

Perhaps I rowed with galley slaves, 

Whose labour never ceased, 

To bring across Phoenician waves 

Your treasure from the East. 

36 



Maybe you were an Emperor then Golden 

And I a favourite slave; Eyes 

Some youth, whom from the lions' den 

You vainly tried to save! 

Maybe I reigned, a mighty King, 

The early nations knew, 

And you were some slight captive thing, 

Some maiden whom I slew. 

Perhaps, adrift on desert shores 
Beside some shipwrecked prow, 
I gladly gave my life for yours. 
Would I might give it now! 
Or on some sacrificial stone 
Strange Gods we satisfied, 
Perhaps you stooped and left a throne 
To kiss me ere I died. 

Perhaps, still further back than this, 
In times ere men were men, 
You granted me a moment's bliss 
In some dark desert den, 
When, with your amber eyes alight 
With iridescent flame, 
And fierce desire for love's delight, 
Towards my lair you came. 

Ah laughing, ever-brilliant eyes, 
These things men may not know, 

37 



Golden 
Eyes 



But something in your radiance lies, 

That, centuries ago, 

Lit up my life in one wild blaze 

Of infinite desire 

To revel in your golden rays, 

Or in your light expire. 

If this, oh Strange Ringed Eyes, be true 

That through all changing lives 

This longing love I have for you 

Eternally survives, 

May I not sometimes dare to dream 

In some far time to be 

Your softly golden eyes may gleam 

Responsively on me? 

Ah gentle, subtly changing eyes, 
You smiled on me one day, 
And all my life in glad surprise 
Leaped up, imploring "Stay! " 
Alas, alas, oh Golden Eyes, 
So cruel and so gay, 
You went to shine in other skies, 
Smiled once and passed away. 




KOTRI, BY THE RIVER 

iTRI, BY THE RIVER, WHEN EVEN- 

ing's sun is low, 

The waving palm trees quiver, the golden waters 

gl W) 

The shining ripples shiver,descending to the sea. 

At Kotri, by the river, she used to wait for me. 

So pale, so young, so slender, she was, with wistful eyes 
As luminous and tender as Kotri's twilight skies. 
Her face broke into flowers, red flowers at the mouth, 
Her voice, she sang for hours like bulbuls in the south. 

We sat beside the water through burning summer days, / Y^\ 
And many things I taught her of Life and all its ways. ^ 
Of Love, man's loveliest duty, of Passion's reckless pain, 



Of Youth, whose transient beauty comes once, but not again. 

She lay and laughed and listened beside the water's edge. 
The glancing river glistened and glinted through the sedge. 
Green parrots flew above her and, as the daylight died, 
Her young arms drew her lover more closely to her side. 

Oh days so warm and golden! oh nights so cool and still! 
When Love would not be holden, and Pleasure had his will. 
Days when in after leisure, content to rest we lay, 
Nights, when her lips' soft pressure drained all my life away. 

39 



Kotri, by And while we sat together, beneath the Babul trees, 
the River. The fragrant, sultry weather cooled by the river breeze, 
If passion faltered ever, and left the senses free, 
We heard the tireless river descending to the sea. 

I know not where she wandered, or went in after days, 
Or if her youth was squandered in Love's more doubtful ways. 
Perhaps, beside the river she died, still young and fair; 
Perchance the grasses quiver above her slumber there. 

At Kotri, by the river, maybe I too shall sleep 

The sleep that lasts for ever, too deep for dreams; too deep. 

Maybe among the shingle and sand of floods to be 

Her dust and mine may mingle and float away to sea. 

Ah Kotri, by the river, when evening's sun is low, 
Your faint reflections quiver, your golden ripples glow. 
You knew, oh Kotri river, that love which could not last. 
For me your palms still shiver with passions of the past. 




40 




FAREWELL 

AREWELL, AZIZ, IT WAS NOT MINE 

to fold you 

Against my heart for any length of days. 

I had no loveliness, alas, to hold you, 

No siren voice, no charm that lovers praise. 



Yet, in the midst of grief and desolation, 
Solace I my despairing soul with this: 
Once, for my life's eternal consolation, 
You lent my lips your loveliness to kiss. 

Ah, that one night! I think Love's very essence 
Distilled itself from out my joy and pain, 
Like tropical trees, whose fervid inflorescence 
Glows, gleams and dies, never to bloom again. 

Often I marvel how I met the morning 
With living eyes, after that night with you, 
Ah, how I cursed the wan, white light for dawning, 
And mourned the paling stars, as each withdrew! 

Yet I, even I, who am less than dust before you, 
Less than the lowest lintel of your door, 
Was given one breathless midnight, to adore you. 
Fate, having granted this, can give no more! 





AFRIDI LOVE 

INGE, OH, BELOVED, YOU ARE NOT EVEN 

faithful 

To me, who loved you so, for one short night, 
For one brief space of darkness, though my absence 
Did but endure until the dawning light. 

Since all your beauty which was mine you squandered 
On that which now lies dead across your door; 
See here this knife, made keen and bright to kill you. 
You shall not see the sun rise any more. 

Lie still! Lie still! In all the empty village 
Who is there left to hear or heed your cry? 
All are gone down to labour in the valley, 
Who will return before your time to die? 

No use to struggle; when I found you sleeping, 
I took your hands and bound them to your side, 
And both these slender feet, too apt at straying, 
Down to the cot on which you lie are tied. 

Lie still, Beloved; that dead thing lying yonder, 
I hated and I killed, but love is sweet, 
And you are more than sweet to me, who love you, 
Who decked my eyes with dust from off your feet. 




AFR1DI LOVE 



Give me your lips; Ah, lovely and disloyal Afridi Love 

Give me yourself again; before you go 

Down through the darkness of the Great, Blind Portal, 

All of life's best and basest you must know. 

Erstwhile Beloved, you were so young and fragile 
I held you gently, as one holds a flower: 
But now, God knows, what use to still be tender 
To one whose life is done within an hour? 

I hurt? What then? Death will not hurt you, dearest, 
As you hurt me, just for a single night, 
You call me cruel, who laid my life in ruins 
To gain one little moment of delight. 

Look up, look out, across the open doorway 
The sunlight streams. The distant hills are blue. 
Look at the pale, pink peach trees in our garden, 
Sweet fruit will come of them; but not for you. 

The fair, far snow, upon those jagged mountains 
That gnaw against the hard blue Afghan sky 
Will soon descend, set free by summer sunshine. 
You will not see those torrents sweeping by. 

The world is not for you. From this day forward, 
You must lie still alone; who would not lie 
Alone for one night only, though returning 
I was, when earliest dawn should break the sky. 

43 



Afridi Love 





There lies my lute, and many strings are broken, 
Some one was playing it, and some one tore 
The silken tassels round my Hookah woven; 
Some one who plays & smokes, & loves, no more! 

Some one who took last night his fill of pleasure, 
As I took mine at dawn! The knife went home 
Straight through his heart! God only knows my rapture 
Bathing my chill hands in the warm red foam. 

And so I pain you? This is only loving, 
Wait till I kill you! Ah, this soft, curled hair! 
Surely the fault was mine, to love and leave you 
Even a single night, you are so fair. 

Cold steel is very cooling to the fervour 
Of over passionate ones, Beloved, like you. 
Nay, turn your lips to mine. Not quite unlovely 
They are as yet, as yet, though quite untrue. 

What will your brother say, to-night returning 
With laden camels homewards to the hills, 
Finding you dead, and me asleep beside you, 
Will he awake me first before he kills? 

For I shall sleep. Here on the cot beside you 
When you, my Heart's Delight, are cold in death. 
When your young heart and restless lips are silent, 
Grown chilly, even beneath my burning breath. 



44 



When I have slowly drawn my knife across you, 
Taking my pleasure as I see you swoon, 
I shall sleep sound, worn out by love's last fervour, 
And then, God grant your kinsmen kill me soon! 



Afridi Love 




45 




YASMINI 

T NIGHT, WHEN PASSION'S 

ebbing tide 

Left bare the Sands of Truth, 
Yasmini, resting by my side, 
Spoke softly of her youth. 

"And one," she said, "was tall and slim, 
Two crimson rose leaves made his mouth 
And I was fain to follow him 
Down to his village in the South. 

" He was to build a hut hard by 
The stream where palms were growing, 
We were to live, and love, and lie, 
And watch the water flowing. 

"Ah, dear, delusive, distant shore, 
By dreams of futile fancy gilt! 
The riverside we never saw, 
The palm leaf hut was never built! 

"One had a Tope of Mangoe trees, 
Where early morning, noon and late, 
The Persian wheels, with patient ease, 
Brought up their liquid, silver freight. 



46 



" And he was fain to rise and reach Yasmini 

That garden sloping to the sea, 
Whose groves along the wave-swept beach 
Should shelter him and love and me. 

" Doubtless, upon that western shore 
With ripe fruit falling to the ground, 
There dwells the Peace he hungered for, 
The lovely Peace we never found. 

"Then there came one with eager eyes 
And keen sword, ready for the fray. 
He missed the storms of Northern skies, 
The reckless raid and skirmish gay! 

" He rose from dreams of war's alarms, 
To make his daggers keen and bright, 
Desiring, in my very arms, 
The fiercer rapture of the fight! 

"He left me soon; too soon, and sought 
The stronger, earlier love again. 
News reached me from the Cabul Court, 
Afterwards nothing; doubtless slain. 

"Doubtless his brilliant, haggard eyes, 
Long since took leave of life and light, 
And those lithe limbs I used to prize 
Feasted the jackal and the kite. 

47 



Yasmini B ut the most loved! his sixteen years 

Shone in his cheeks' transparent red. 
My kisses were his first: my tears 
Fell on his face when he was dead. 

" He died, he died, I speak the truth, 
Though light love leave his memory dim, 
He was the Lover of my Youth 
And all my youth went down with him. 

" For passion ebbs and passion flows, 
But under every new caress 
The riven heart more keenly knows 
Its own inviolate faithfulness. 

"Our Gods are kind and still deem fit 
As in old days, with those to lie, 
Whose silent hearths are yet unlit 
By the soft light of infancy. 

"Therefore, one strange, mysterious night 
Alone within the Temple shade, 
Recipient of a God's delight 
I lay enraptured, unafraid. 

"Also to me the boon was given, 
But mourning quickly followed mirth, 
My son, whose father stooped from Heaven, 
Died in the moment of his birth. 

48 



"When from the war beyond the seas Yasmini 

The reckless Lancers home returned, 
Their spoils were laid across my knees 
About my lips their kisses burned. 

"Back from the Comradeship of Death, 
Free from the Friendship of the Sword, 
With brilliant eyes and famished breath 
They came to me for their reward. 

"Why do I tell you all these things, 
Baring my life to you, unsought? 
When Passion folds his wearied wings 
Sleep should be follower, never Thought. 

"Ay, let us sleep. The window pane 
Grows pale against the purple sky. 
The dawn is with us once again, 
The dawn; which always means good-bye." 

Within her little trellised room, beside the palm-fringed sea, 
She wakeful in the scented gloom, spoke of her youth to me. 




H 



49 



OJIRA, TO HER LOVER 

JAM WAITING IN THE DESERT, LOOKING OUT 
towards the sunset, 
A.nd counting every moment till we meet. 
[ am waiting by the marshes and I tremble and I listen 
Fill the soft sands thrill beneath your coming feet. 
Till I see you, tall and slender, standing clear against the 
skyline 
* graceful shade across the lingering red, 
While your hair the breezes ruffle, turns to silver in the twilight, 
And makes a fair faint aureole round your head. 

Far away towards the sunset I can see a narrow river 
That unwinds itself in red tranquillity. 

I can hear its rippled meeting, and the gurgle of its greeting, 
As it mingles with the loved and long sought sea. 

In the purple sky above me showing dark against the starlight, 

Long wavering flights of homeward birds fly low, 

They cry each one to the other, and their weird and wistful 

calling, 

Makes most melancholy music as they go. 

Oh, my dearest hasten, hasten! It is lonely here. Already 

Have I heard the jackals' first assembling cry, 

And among the purple shadows of the mangroves and the 

marshes 

Fitful echoes of their footfalls passing by. 

50 



OJIRA, TO HER LOVER 



Ah, come soon! my arms are empty, and so weary for your Ojira, to 

beauty, Her Lover 

I am thirsty for the music of your voice. 

Come to make the marshes joyous with the sweetness of your 

presence 

Let your nearing feet bid all the sands rejoice! 

My hands, my lips are feverish with the longing and the waiting 
And no softness of the twilight soothes their heat, 
Till I see your radiant eyes, shining stars beneath the starlight, 
Till I kiss the slender coolness of your feet. 

Ah, loveliest, most reluctant, when you lay yourself beside me, 

All the planets reel around me fade away, 

And the sands grow dim, uncertain, I stretch out my hands 

towards you 

While I try to speak but know not what I say! 

lam faint with love and longing and my burning eyes are gazing 

Where the furtive Jackals wage their famished strife, 

Oh, your shadow on the mangroves! and your step upon the 

sandhills, 

This is the loveliest evening of my life! 




THOUGHTS: MAHOMED AKRAM 

IF SOME DAY THIS BODY OF MINE WERE 
burned 
(It found no favour alas! with you) 
And the ashes scattered abroad, unurned, 
Would Love die also, would Thought die too? 
But who can answer, or who can trust, 
No dreams would harry the windblown dust? 

Were I laid away in the furrows deep 
Secure from jackal and passing plough, 
Would your eyes not follow me still through sleep 
Torment me then as they torture now? 
Would you ever have loved me, Golden Eyes, 
Had I done aught better or otherwise? 

Was I overspeechful, or did you yearn 
When I sat silent, for songs or speech? 
Ah, Beloved, I had been so apt to learn, 
So apt, had you only cared to teach. 
But time for silence and song is done, 
You wanted nothing, my Golden Sun! 

What should you want of a waning star? 
That drifts in its lonely orbit far 
Away from your soft, effulgent light 
In outer planes of Eternal night? 

52 




PRAYER 

OU ARE ALL THAT IS LOVELY 

and light, 

Aziz whom I adore, 

And, waking, after the night, 

I am weary with dreams of you. 
Every nerve in my heart is terse and sore 
As I rise to another morning apart from you. 

I dream of your luminous eyes, 

Aziz whom I adore! 

Of the ruffled silk of your hair, 

I dream, and the dreams are lies. 

But I love them, knowing no more, 

Will ever be mine of you 

Aziz, my life's despair. 

I would burn for a thousand days, 

Aziz whom I adore, 

Be tortured, slain, in unheard of ways 

If you pitied the pain I bore. 

You pity! Your bright eyes, fastened on other things, 

Are keener to sting my soul, than scorpion stings! 

You are all that is lovely to me, 

All that is light, 

One white rose in a Desert of weariness. 

53 



Prayer I only live in the night, 

The night, with its fair false dreams of you, 
You and your loveliness. 

Give me your love for a day, 

A night, an hour: 

If the wages of sin are Death 

I am willing to pay. 

What is my life but a breath 

Of passion burning away? 

Away for an unplucked flower. 

Oh, Aziz whom I adore, 

Aziz my one delight, 

Only one night, I will die before day, 

And trouble your life no more. 



54 



THE ALOE 

Y LIFE WAS LIKE AN ALOE 
flower, beneath an orient sky, 
Your sunshine touched it for an hour; 
it blossomed but to die. 



Torn up, cast out, on rubbish heaps where red flames 

work their will 

Each atom of the Aloe keeps the flower-time fragrance 

still. 




55 




MEMORY 

OW I LOVED YOU IN 

your sleep 

With the starlight on your hair! 

JThe touch of your lips was sweet, 
Aziz whom I adore, 
I lay at your slender feet, 
And against their soft palms pressed, 
I fitted my face to rest. 
As winds blow over the sea 
From Citron gardens ashore, 
Came, through your scented hair, 
The breeze of the night to me. 

My lips grew arid and dry, 

My nerves were tense, 

Though your beauty soothe the eye 

It maddens the sense. 

Every curve of that beauty is known to me, 

Every tint of that delicate roseleaf skin, 

And these are printed on every atom of me, 

Burnt in on every fibre until I die, 

And for this, my sin, 

I doubt if ever, though dust I be, 

The dust will lose the desire, 

The torment and hidden fire, 



Of my passionate love for you, Memory 

Aziz whom I adore, 

My dust will be full of your beauty, as is the blue 

And infinite ocean full of the azure sky. 

In the light that waxed and waned 

Playing about your slumber in silver bars, 

As the palm trees swung their feathery fronds athwart the star 

How quiet and young you were, 

Pale as the Champa flowers, violet veined 

That sweet and fading, lay in your loosened hair. 

How sweet you were in your sleep, 

With the starlight on your hair! 

Your throat thrown backwards, bare, 

And touched with circling moonbeams silver white 

On the couch's sombre shade, 

Oh, Aziz my one delight, 

When Youth's passionate pulses fade, 

And his golden heart beats slow, 

When across the infinite sky 

I see the roseate glow 

Of my last, last sunset flare, 

I shall send my thoughts to this night 

And remember you as I die, 

The one thing among all the things of this world found fair, 

How sweet you were in your sleep, 

With the starlight, silver and sable, across your hair! 

1 57 




THE FIRST LOVER 

S O'ER THE VESSEL'S SIDE she leant, 
She saw the swimmer in the sea 
With eager eyes on her intent, 
" Come down, come down and swim with 
me." 

So weary was she of her lot, 
Tired of the ship's monotony, 
She straightway all the world forgot 
Save the young swimmer in the sea. 

So when the dusky, dying light 
Left all the water dark and dim, 
She softly in the friendly night 
Slipped down the vessel's side to him. 

Intent and brilliant, brightly dark, 
She saw his burning, eager eyes, 
And many a phosphorescent spark 
About his shoulders fall and rise. 

As through the hushed and Eastern night 
They swam together, hand in hand, 
Or lay and laughed in sheer delight 
Full length upon the level sand. 

" Ah, soft, delusive, purple night 
Whose darkness knew no vexing moon! 
Ah, cruel, needless, dawning light 
That trembles in the sky too soon!" 

58 




KHAN ZADA'S SONG ON THE 
HILLSIDE 




*HE FIRES THAT BURN ON 
all the hills 

Light up the landscape grey, 
The arid desert land distils 
The fervours of the day. 

The clear white moon sails through the skies 

And silvers all the night, 

I see the brilliance of your eyes 

And need no other light. 

The death sighs of a thousand flowers 
The fervent day has slain 
Are wafted through the twilight hours, 
And perfume all the plain. 

My senses strain, and try to clasp 
Their sweetness in the air, 
In vain, in vain; they only grasp 
The fragrance of your hair. 

The plain is endless space expressed; 
Vast is the sky above, 
I only feel, against your breast, 
Infinities of love. 



59 




DESERTED GIPSY'S SONG: 
HILLSIDE CAMP 

:HE IS GLAD TO RECEIVE YOUR 

turquoise ring, 

Dear and dark-eyed Lover of mine! 
I, to have given you everything: 
Beauty maddens the soul like Wine! 

" She is proud to have held aloof her charms, 
Slender, dark-eyed Lover of mine! 
But I, of the night you lay in my arms: 
Beauty maddens the sense like Wine! 

" She triumphs to think that your heart is won, 
Stately, dark-eyed Lover of mine! 
I had not a thought of myself, not one: 
Beauty maddens the brain like Wine! 

" She will speak you softly, while skies are blue, 
Dear, deluded Lover of mine! 
I would lose both body and soul for you: 
Beauty maddens the brain like Wine! 

" While the ways are fair she will love you well, 
Dear, disdainful Lover of mine! 
But I would have followed you down to Hell: 
Beauty maddens the soul like Wine! 

60 



DESERTED GIPSY'S SONG: HILLSIDE CAMP 



" Though you lay at her feet the days to be, Deserted 
Now no longer Lover of mine! Gipsy's 
You can give her naught that you gave not me: Song: Hill- 
Beauty maddened my soul like Wine! side Camp 

" When the years have shown what is false or true: 
Beauty maddens the sight like Wine! 
You will understand how I cared for you, 
First and only Lover of mine!" 



61 



THE PLAINS 

OW ONE LOVES THEM THESE WHITE 

horizons; whether Desert or Sea, 
Vague and vast and infinite; faintly clear- 
Surely, hid in the far away, unknown "There," 
.Lie the things so longed for and found not, 
found not, Here. 

Only where some passionate, level land 

Stretches itself in reaches of golden sand, 

Only where the sea-line is joined to the sky-line, clear, 

Beyond the curve of ripple or white foamed crest, 

Shall the weary eyes 

Distressed by the broken skies, 

Broken by Minaret, mountain or towering tree, 

Shall the weary eyes be assuaged, be assuaged, and rest. 



62 



"LOST DELIGHT": AFTER 
THE HAZARA WAR 

LIE ALONE, BENEATH THE ALMOND 

blossoms, 

Where we two lay together in the spring, 

And now, as then, the mountain snows are melting, 

This year, as last, the water-courses sing. 

That was another spring, and other flowers, 
Hung, pink and fragile, on the leafless tree, 
The land rejoiced in other running water, 
And I rejoiced, because you were with me. 

You, with your soft eyes, darkly lashed and shaded, 
Your red lips like a living, laughing rose, 
Your restless, amber limbs so lithe and slender 
Now lost to me. Gone whither no man knows. 

You lay beside me singing in the sunshine; 
The rough, white fur, unloosened at the neck, 
Showed the smooth skin, fair as the Almond blossoms, 
On which the sun could find no flaw or fleck. 

I lie alone, beneath the almond flowers, 

I hated them to touch you as they fell, 

And now, who killed you? worse, ah, worse, who loves you? 

(My soul is burning as men burn in Hell.) 

63 



" Lost How I have sought you in the crowded cities! 

Delight " : I have been mad, they say, for many days. 

After the I know not how I came here, to the valley, 

Hazara What fate has led me, through what doubtful ways. 

War 

Somewhere I see my sword has done good service, 

Some one I killed who, smiling, used your name, 
But in what country? Nay, I have forgotten, 
All thought is shrivelled in my heart's hot flame. 

Where are you now, Delight, and where your beauty, 
Your subtle curls, and laughing, changeful face? 
Bound, bruised and naked (dear God, grant me patience), 
And sold in Cabul in the market-place. 

I asked of you of all men. Who could tell me? 
Among so many captured, sold, or slain, 
What fate was yours? (ah, dear God, grant me patience, 
My heart is burnt, is burnt, with fire and pain.) 

Oh, lost Delight! my heart is almost breaking, 
My sword is broken and my feet are sore, 
The people look at me and say in passing, 
" He will not leave the village any more." 

For as the evening falls, the fever rises, 
With frantic thoughts careering through the brain, 
Wild thoughts of you (ah, dear God, grant me patience, 
My soul is hurt beyond all men call pain.) 
64 



I lie alone, beneath the Almond blossoms, " Lost 

And see the white snow melting on the hills Delight " 

Till Khorassan is gay with water-courses, After the 

Glad with the tinkling sound of running rills, Hazara 

War 

And well I know that when the fragile petals 
Fall softly, e'er the first green leaves appear, 
(Ah, for these last few days, God grant me patience,) 
Since Delight is not, I shall not be, here! 



K 65 



UNFORGOTTEN 

DYOU EVER THINK OF ME ? YOU 
who died 
Ere our Youth's first fervour chilled, 
With your soft eyes closed and your pulses stilled 
Lying alone, aside, 

Do you ever think of me, left in the light, 
From the endless calm of your dawnless night? 

I am faithful always: I do not say 

That the lips which thrilled to your lips of old 

To lesser kisses are always cold; 

Had you wished for this in its narrow sense 

Our love perhaps had been less intense; 

But as we held faithfulness, you and I, 

I am faithful always, as you who lie, 

Asleep for ever, beneath the grass, 

While the days and nights and the seasons pass,- 

Pass away. 

I keep your memory near my heart, 

My brilliant, beautiful guiding Star, 

Till long life over, I too depart 

To the infinite night where perhaps you are. 

Oh, are you anywhere? Loved so well! 
I would rather know you alive in Hell 

66 



Than think your beauty is nothing now, Unforgotten 

With its deep dark eyes and its tranquil brow 

Where the hair fell softly. Can this be true 

That nothing, nowhere, exists of you? 

Nothing, nowhere, oh, loved so well 

I have never forgotten. 

Do you still keep 

Thoughts of me through your dreamless sleep? 

Oh, gone from me! lost in Eternal Night, 

Lost Star of light, 

Risen splendidly, set so soon, 

Through the weariness of life's afternoon 

I dream of your memory yet. 

My loved and lost, whom I could not save, 

My youth went down with you to the grave, 

Though other planets and stars may rise, 

I dream of your soft and sorrowful eyes 

And I cannot forget. 



SONG OF FAIZ ULLA 

JUST AT THE TIME WHEN JASMINS 
bloom, most sweetly in the summer weather, 
Lost in the scented Jungle gloom, one sultry 
night we spent together, 
We, Love and Night, together blent, a Trinity 
of tranced content. 

Yet, while your lips were wholly mine, to kiss, to drink 

from, to caress, 

We heard some far-off feint distress; harsh drop of 

poison in sweet wine 

Lessening the fullness of delight, 

Some quivering note of human pain, 

Which rose and fell and rose again, in plaintive sobs 

throughout the night, 

Spoiling the perfumed, moonless hours 
We spent among the Jasmin flowers. 



68 



STORY OF LILAVANTI 



*HEY LAY THE SLENDER BODY 
down 

With all its wealth of wetted hair, 
Only a daughter of the town, 
But very young and slight and fair. 

The eyes, whose light one cannot see, 
Are sombre doubtless like the tresses, 
The mouth's soft curvings seem to be 
A roseate series of caresses. 

And where the skin has all but dried 
(The air is sultry in the room) 
Upon her breast and either side, 
It shows a soft and amber bloom. 

By women here, who knew her life, 
A leper husband, I am told, 
Took all this loveliness to wife 
When it was barely ten years old. 

And when the child in shocked dismay 
Fled from the hated husband's care 
He caught and tied her, so they say, 
Down to his bedside by her hair. 



Story of To some low quarter of the town, 

Lilivanti Escaped a second time, she flew; 

Her beauty brought her great renown 
And many lovers here she knew, 

When, as the mystic Eastern night 
With purple shadow filled the air, 
Behind her window framed in light, 
She sat with jasmin in her hair. 

At last she loved a youth, who chose 
To keep this wild flower for his own, 
He in his garden set his rose 
Where it might bloom for him alone. 

Cholera came; her lover died, 
Want drove her to the streets again, 
And women found her there, who tried 
To turn her beauty into gain. 

But she who in those garden ways 
Had learnt of Love, would now no more 
Be bartered in the market-place 
For silver, as in days before. 

That former life she strove to change; 
She sold the silver off her arms, 
While all the world grew cold and strange 
To broken health and fading charms. 

70 



THE STORY OF LILAVANTI 



Till, finding lovers, but no friend Story of 

Nor any place to rest or hide, Lilivanti 

She grew despairing at the end, 
Slipped softly down a well and died. 

And yet, how short, when all is said, 
This little life of love and tears! 
Her age, they say, beside her bed, 
To-day is only fifteen years. 



THE GARDEN BY THE BRIDGE 



-^HE DESERT SANDS ARE HEATED, 
parched and dreary, 

The tigers rend alive their quivering prey 
In the near Jungle; here the kites rise, weary, 
Too gorged with living food to fly away. 

All night the hungry jackals howl together 
Over the carrion in the river bed, 
Or seize some small soft thing of fur or feather 
Whose dying shrieks on the night air are shed. 

I hear from yonder Temple in the distance 
Whose roof with obscene carven Gods is piled, 
Reiterated with a sad insistence, 
Sobs of, perhaps, some immolated child. 

Strange rites here, where the archway's shade is deeper 
Are consummated in the river bed; 
Farias steal the rotten railway sleeper 
To burn the bodies of their cholera dead. 

But yet, their lust, their hunger, cannot shame them 
Goaded by fierce desire, that flays and stings; 
Poor beasts, and poorer men. Nay, who shall blame them? 
Blame the Inherent Cruelty of things. 

72 



THE GARDEN BY THE BRIDGE 



The world is horrible and I am lonely, The 

Let me rest here where yellow roses bloom Garden by 

And find forgetfulness, remembering only the Bridge 
Your face beside me in the scented gloom. 

Nay, do not shrink! I am not here for passion, 
I crave no love, only a little rest, 
Although I would my face lay, lover's fashion, 
Against the tender coolness of your breast. 

I am so weary of the Curse of Living 

The endless, aimless torture, tumult, fears. 

Surely, if life were any God's free giving, 

He, seeing His gift, long since went blind with tears. 

Seeing us; our fruitless strife, our futile praying, 
Our luckless Present and our bloodstained Past. 
Poor players, who make a trick or two in playing, 
But know that death must win the game at last. 

As round the Fowler, with feathered slaughter 
The little joyous lark, unconscious sings, 
As the pink Lotus floats on azure water, 
Innocent of the mud from whence it springs. 

You walk through life, unheeding all the sorrow, 
The fear and pain set close around your way, 
Meeting with hopeful eyes each gay to-morrow, 
Living with joy each hour of glad to-day. 

L 73 



TheGarden I love to have you thus (nay, dear, lie quiet, 

by How should these reverent fingers wrong your hair?) 

the Bridge So calmly careless of the rush and riot 

That rages round us seething everywhere. 

You do not understand. You think your beauty 

Does but inflame my senses to desire, 

Till all you hold as loyalty and duty, 

Is shrunk and shrivelled in the ardent fire. 

You wrong me, wearied out with thought and grieving 
As though the whole world's sorrow eat my heart, 
I come to gaze upon your face believing 
Its beauty is as ointment to the smart. 

Lie still and let me in my desolation 
Caress the soft loose hair a moment's span. 
Since Loveliness is Life's one Consolation, 
And love the only Lethe left to man. 

Ah, give me here beneath the trees in flower, 
Beside the river where the fireflies pass, 
One little dusky, all consoling hour 
Lost in the shadow of the long grown grass. 

Give me, oh, you whose arms are soft and slender, 
Whose eyes are nothing but one long caress, 
Against your heart, so innocent and tender, 
A little Love and some Forgetfulness. 

74 



FATE KNOWS NO TEARS 

JUST AS THE DAWN OF LOVE 
was breaking 
Across the weary world of grey, 
Just as my life once more was waking 
As roses waken late in May, 
Fate, blindly cruel and havoc-making, 
Stepped in and carried you away. 

Memories have I none in keeping 

Of times I held you near my heart, 

Of dreams when we were near to weeping 

That dawn should bid us rise and part; 

Never alas, I saw you sleeping 

With soft closed eyes and lips apart 

Breathing my name still through your dreaming.- 
Ah! had you stayed, such things had been! 
But fate, unheeding human scheming, 
Serenely reckless came between 
Fate with her cold eyes hard and gleaming 
Unscared by all the sorrow seen. 

Ah! well-beloved, I never told you 
I did not show in speech or song, 
How at the end I longed to fold you 
Close in my arms, so fierce and strong 
The longing grew to have and hold you, 
You, and you only, all life long. 

75 



Fate Knows They who know nothing call me fickle, 

no Tears Keen to pursue and loth to keep. 

Ah, could they see these tears that trickle 
From eyes erstwhile too proud to weep. 
Could see me, prone, beneath the sickle, 
While pain and sorrow stand and reap! 

Unopened scarce, yet overblown, lie 
The hopes that rose-like round me grew, 
The lights are low, and more than lonely 
This life I lead apart from you. 
Come back, come back! I want you only, 
And you who loved me never knew. 

You loved me, pleaded for compassion 
On all the pain I would not share; 
And I in weary, halting fashion 
Was loth to listen, long to care; 
But now, dear God! I feint with passion 
For your far eyes and distant hair. 

Yes, I am faint with love, and broken 
With sleepless nights and empty days; 
I want your soft words fiercely spoken, 
Your tender looks and wayward ways 
Want that strange smile that gave me token 
Of many things that no man says. 

Cold was I, weary, slow to waken 
Till, startled by your ardent eyes, 



I felt the soul within me shaken Fate Knows 

And long-forgotten senses rise; no Tears 

But in that moment you were taken, 
And thus we lost our Paradise! 

Farewell, we may not now recover 

That golden "Then" misspent, passed by. 

We shall not meet as loved and lover 

Here, or hereafter, you and I. 

My time for loving you is over, 

Love has no future, but to die. 

And thus we part, with no believing 
In any chance of future years. 
We have no idle self-deceiving, 
No half-consoling hopes and fears; 
We know the Gods grant no retrieving 
A wasted chance. Fate knows no tears. 



77 



VERSES: FAIZ ULLA 



UST IN THE HUSH BEFORE 



the dawn 

A little wistful wind is born. 



JA little chilly errant breeze, 
That thrills the grasses, stirs the trees 
And, as it wanders on its way, 
While yet the night is cool and dark, 
Ere the first carol of the lark, 
Its plaintive murmurs seem to say 
"I wait the sorrows of the day." 



TWO SONGS BY SITARA, OF 
KASHMIR 

BLLOVED! YOUR HAIR WAS 
golden 
As tender tints of sunrise, 
As corn beside the River 
In softly varying hues. 
I loved you for your slightness, 
Your melancholy sweetness, 
Your changeful eyes, that promised 
What your lips would still refuse. 

You came to me, and loved me, 
Were mine upon the River, 
The azure waters saw us 
And the blue transparent sky; 
The Lotus flowers knew it 
Our happiness together, 
While life was only River, 
Only love, and you and I. 

Love wakened on the River, 
To sounds of running water, 
With silver Stars for witness 
And reflected Stars for light; 
Awakened to existence, 

79 



Two Songs With ripples for first music 

by Sitara, And sunlight on the River 

of Kashmir For earliest sense of sight. 

Love grew upon the River 
Among the scented flowers, 
The open rosy flowers 
Of the Lotus buds in bloom 
Love, brilliant as the Morning, 
More fervent than the Noon-day, 
And tender as the Twilight 
In its blue transparent gloom. 

Love died upon the River! 
Cold snow upon the mountains, 
The Lotus leaves turned yellow 
And the water very grey. 
Our kisses feint and falter, 
The clinging hands unfasten, 
The golden time is over 
And our passion dies away. 

Away. To be forgotten, 
A ripple on the River, 
That flashes in the sunset, 
That flashed, and died away. 



80 



SECOND SONG: THE GIRL 
FROM BALTISTAN 




THROB, THROB, 

Far away in the blue transparent Night, 
On the outer horizon of dreaming consciousness, 
She hears the sound of her lover's nearing boat 
Alar, afloat, 

On the river's loneliness, where the Stars are the only light. 

Hears the sound of the straining wood 

Like a broken sob 

Of a heart's distress, 

Loving, misunderstood. 

She lies, with her loose hair spent in soft disorder, 
On a silken sheet with a purple woven border, 
Every cell of her brain is latent fire, 
Every fibre tense with restrained desire. 
And the straining oars sound clearer, clearer, 
The boat is approaching nearer, nearer, 
" How to wait through the moments' space 
Till I see the light of my lover's face?" 

Throb, throb, throb, 
The sound dies down the stream 
Till it only clings at the senses' edge 
Like a half-remembered dream. 

M 81 






Second 
Song: The 
Girl from 
Baltistan 



Doubtless, he in the silence lies, 

His fair face turned to the tender skies, 

Starlight touching his sleeping eyes. 

While his boat is caught in the thickset sedge 

And the waters round it gurgle and sob, 

Or floats set free on the river's tide, 

Oars laid aside. 

She is awake and knows no rest, 

Passion dies and is dispossessed 

Of his brief, despotic power. 

But the brain, once kindled, would still be afire 

Were the whole world pasture to its desire, 

And all of love, in a single hour, 

A single wine cup, filled to the brim, 

Given to slake its thirst. 

Some there are who are thus-wise cursed; 

Times that follow fulfilled desire 

Are of all their hours the worst, 

They find no Respite and reach no Rest, 

Though passion foil and desire grow dim, 

No assuagement comes from the thing possessed 

For possession feeds the fire. 

"Oh, for the life of the bright hued things 
Whose marriage and death are one, 



82 



A floating fusion on golden wings, 

Alit with passion and sun!" 

" But we who re-marry a thousand times, 

As the spirit or senses will, 

In a thousand ways, in a thousand climes, 

We remain unsatisfied still." 

As her lover left her, alone, awake she lies, 
With a sleepless brain and weary, half-closed eyes 
She turns her face where the purple silk is spread, 
Still sweet with delicate perfume his presence shed 
Her arms remember his vanished beauty still, 
And, reminiscent of clustered curls, her fingers thrill. 
While the wonderful, Starlit Night wears slowly on 
Till the light of another day, serene and wan, 
Pierces the eastern skies. 



Second 
Song: The 
Girl from 
Baltistan 



PALM TREES BY THE SEA 

'OVE, LET ME THANK YOU FOR THIS! 
Now we have drifted apart, 
Wandered away from the Sea, 
For the fresh touch of your kiss, 

For the young warmth of your heart, 
For your youth given to me. 

Thanks: for the curls of your hair, 
Softer than silk to the hand, 
For the clear gaze of your eyes. 
For yourself: delicate, fair, 
Seen as you lay on the sand, 
Under the violet skies. 

Thanks: for the words that you said, 

Secretly, tenderly sweet, 

All through the tropical day, 

Till, when the sunset was red, 

I, who lay still at your feet, 

Felt my life ebbing away, 

Weary and worn with desire, 
Only yourself could console. 
Love let me thank you for this! 
For that fierce fervour and fire 
Burnt through my lips to my soul 
From the white heat of your kiss! 

84 



You were the essence of Spring, Palm Trees 

Wayward and bright as a flame. by the Sea 

Though we have drifted apart, 
Still how the syllables sing 
Mixed in your musical name, 
Deep in the well of my heart! 

Once in the lingering light, 
Thrown from the west on the Sea, 
Laid you your garments aside, 
Slender and goldenly bright, 
Glimmered your beauty, set free, 
Bright as a pearl in the tide. 

Once, ere the thrill of the dawn 
Silvered the edge of the sea, 
I, who lay watching you rest, 
Pale in the chill of the morn, 
Found you still dreaming of me, 
Still by Love's fancies possessed. 

Fallen on sorrowful days, 
Love, let me thank you for this, 
You were so happy with me! 
Wrapped in Youth's roseate haze, 
Wanting no more than my kiss 
By the blue edge of the sea! 

85 



Palm Trees Ah, for those nights on the sand 

by the Sea Under the palms by the sea, 

For the strange dream of those days 
Spent in the passionate land, 
For your youth given to me, 
I am your debtor always! 



86 



SONG BY GULBAZ 




SONG BY GULBAZ 

S IT SAFE TO LIE SO LONELY WHEN THE 

summer twilight closes 

No companion maidens, only you asleep among the roses? 

" Thirteen, fourteen years you number, and your hair is 
soft and scented, 
Perilous is such a slumber in the twilight all untented. 



"Lonely loveliness means danger, lying in your rose-leaf nest, 
What if some young passing stranger broke into your care- 
less rest?" 

But she would not heed the warning, lay alone serene and 

slight, 

Till the rosy spears of morning slew the darkness of the night. 

Young love, walking softly, found her, in the scented, shady 

closes 

Threw his ardent arms around her, kissed her lips beneath 

the roses. 

And she said, with smiles and blushes, "Would that I had 

sooner known! 

Never now the morning thrushes wake and find me all alone. 

"Since you said the roseleaf cover sweet protection gave, but 

slight, 

I have found this dear young lover to protect me through 

the night!" 

8? 



KASHMIRI SONG 

PALE HANDS I LOVED BESIDE THE 
Shalimar, 
Where are you now? Who lies beneath your 
spell! 
Whom do you lead on Rapture's roadway, far, 
Before you agonise them in farewell? 

Oh, pale dispensers of my Joys and Pains, 
Holding the doors of Heaven and of Hell, 
How the hot blood rushed wildly through the veins 
Beneath your touch, until you waved farewell. 

Pale hands, pink tipped, like Lotus buds that float 
On those cool waters where we used to dwell, 
I would have rather felt you round my throat 
Crushing out life; than. waving me farewell! 



88 



REVERIE OF ORMUZ THE PERSIAN 

SOFTLY THE FEATHERY PALM-TREES FADE 
in the violet Distance, 
Faintly the lingering light touches the edge of the sea, 
Sadly the Music of Waves, drifts, faint as an Anthem's 
insistence, 
Heard in the aisles of a dream, over the sandhills, to me. 

Now that the Lights are reversed, and the Singing changed 
into sighing, 

Now that the wings of our fierce, fugitive passion are furled, 
Take I unto myself, all alone in the light that is dying, 
Much of the sorrow that lies hid at the Heart of the World. 

Sad am I, sad for your loss: for failing the charm of your 

presence, 

Even the sunshine has paled, leaving the Zenith less blue. 

Even the ocean lessens the light of its green opalescence, 

Since, to my sorrow I loved, loved and grew weary of, you. 

Why was our passion so fleeting, why had the flush of your 

beauty 

Only so slender a spell, only so futile a power? 

Yet, even thus ever is life, save when long custom or duty 

Moulds into sober fruit Love's fragile and fugitive flower. 

N 89 



Reverie of Fain would my soul have been faithful; never an alien pleasure 
Ormuz the Lured me away from the light lit in your luminous eyes, 
Persian But ever desire of the Mind, satisfied once, and at leisure 

To criticise, balance, take counsel, assuredly dies. 

All through the centuries Man has gathered his flower, & fenced it, 
Infinite strife to attain; infinite struggle to keep, 
Holding his treasure awhile, all Fate and all forces against it, 
Knowing it his no more, if ever his vigilance sleep. 

But we have altered the World as pitiful man has grown stronger, 
So that the things we love are as easily kept as won, 
Therefore the ancient fight can engage and detain us no longer, 
And all too swiftly, alas, passion is over and done. 

Far too speedily now we can gather the coveted treasure, 
Enjoy it awhile, be satiated, begin to tire; 

And what shall be done henceforth with the profitless after-leisure, 
Who has the breath to kindle the ash of a faded fire? 

Ah, if it only had lasted! After my ardent endeavour 
Came the delirious Joy, flooding my life like a sea, 
Days of delight that are burnt on the brain for ever and ever, 
Days and nights when you loved, before you grew weary of, me. 

Softly the sunset decreases dim in the violet Distance, 
Even as Love's own fervour has faded away from me, 
Leaving the weariness, the monotonous Weight of Existence, 
All the farewells in the world weep in the sound of the sea. 
90 



REVERIE OF ORMUZ THE PERSIAN 




SUNSTROKE 

H, STRAIGHT WHITE ROAD THAT 

runs to meet, 

Across green fields, the blue green sea, 
You knew the little weary feet 
Of my child bride that was to be! 

Her people brought her from the shore 
One golden day in sultry June, 
And I stood, waiting, at the door, 
Praying my eyes might see her soon. 

With eager arms, wide open thrown, 
Now never to be satisfied! 
Ere I could make my love my own 
She closed her amber eyes and died. 

Alas! alas! they took no heed 
How frail she was, my little one, 
But brought her here with cruel speed 
Beneath the fierce, relentless sun. 

We laid her on the marriage bed 
The bridal flowers in her hand, 
A maiden from the ocean led 
Only, alas! to die inland. 

I walk alone; the air is sweet, 
The white road wanders to the sea, 
I dream of those two little feet 
That grew so tired in reaching me. 




ADORATION 

HO DOES NOT FEEL DESIRE 

unending 

To solace through his daily strife 

With some mysterious Mental Blending, 

The hungry loneliness of life? 

Until, by sudden passion shaken, 
As terriers shake a rat at play, 
He finds, all blindly, he has taken 
The old, Hereditary way. 

Yet, in the moment of communion, 
The very heart of passion's fire, 
His spirit spurns the mortal union, 
" Not this, not this, the Soul's desire!" 



Oh You, by whom my life is riven, 
And reft away from my control, 
Take back the hours of passion given! 
Love me one moment from your soul. 

Although I once, in ardent fashion, 
Implored you long to give me this; 
(In hopes to stem, or stifle, passion) 
Your hair to touch, your lips to kiss. 
92 



Now that your gracious self has granted Adoration 

The loveliness you hold as naught, 
I find, alas! not that I wanted- 
Possession has not stifled Thought. 

Desire its aim has only shifted, 
Built hopes upon another plan, 
And I in love for you have drifted 
Beyond all passion known to man. 

Beyond all dreams of soft caresses 
The solacing of any kiss, 
Beyond the fragrance of your tresses 
(Once I had sold my soul for this!) 

But now I crave no mortal union 
(Thanks for that sweetness in the past.) 
I need some subtle, strange communion, 
Some sense that Ijo'myou at last. 

Long past the pulse and pain of passion, 
Long left the limits of all love, 
I crave some nearer, fuller fashion, 
Some unknown way, beyond, above, 

Some infinitely inner fusion, 
As Wave with Water; Flame with Fire, 
Let me dream, once the dear delusion 
That I am You, Oh, Heart's Desire! 

93 



Adoration 



Your kindness lent to my caresses 
That beauty you so lightly prize, 
The midnight of your sable tresses, 
The twilight of your shadowed eyes. 

Ah, for that gift all thanks are given! 
Yet, Oh, adored, beyond control, 
Count all the passionate past forgiven 
And love me once, once, from your soul! 






94 



THREE SONGS OF ZAHIR-U-DIN 



THREE SONGS OF ZAHIR-U-DIN 



TROPIC DAY'S REDUNDANT 

charms 

Cool twilight soothes away, 

The sun slips down behind the palms 

And leaves the landscape grey. 

I want to take you in my arms! 

And kiss your lips away! 

I wake with sunshine in my eyes 
And find the morning blue, 
A night of dreams behind me lies 
And all were dreams of you! 
Ah, how I wish the while I rise, 
That what I dream were true. 

The weary day's laborious pace, 
I hasten and beguile 
By fancies, which I backwards trace 
To things I loved erstwhile; 
The weary sweetness of your face, 
Your faint, illusive smile. 

The silken softness of your hair 
Where faint bronze shadows are, 
Your strangely slight and youthful air, 
No passions seem to mar, 

95 



Three Oh, why, since Fate has made you fair, 

Songs of Must fortune keep you far? 

Zahir-u- 

Thus spent, the day so long and bright 

Less hot and brilliant seems, 
Till in a final flare of light 
The sun withdraws his beams. 
Then, in the coolness of the night, 
I meet you in my dreams! 



SECOND SONG 



OW MUCH I LOVED THAT 

way you had 

Of smiling most, when very sad, 
A smile which carried tender hints 
k Of delicate tints 



o 



And warbling birds, 

Of sun and spring, 

And yet, more than all other thing, 

Of Weariness beyond all Words! 

None other ever smiled that way, 

None that I know, 

The essence of all Gaiety lay 

Of all mad mirth that men may know, 

In that sad smile, serene and slow, 

That on your lips was wont to play. 

It needed many delicate lines 

And subtle curves and roseate tints 

To make that weary radiant smile; 

It flickered, as beneath the vines 

The sunshine through green shadow glints 

On the pale path that lies below, 

Flickered and flashed, and died away, 

But the strange thoughts it woke meanwhile 

Were wont to stay. 

97 



Second Thoughts of Strange Things you used to know 

Song In dim, dead lives, lived long ago, 

Some madly mirthful Merriment 
Whose lingering light is yet unspent, 
Some unimaginable Woe, 
Your strange, sad smile forgets these not, 
Though you, yourself, long since, forgot! 



THIRD SONG, WRITTEN 
DURING FEVER 




"JO-NIGHT THE CLOUDS HANG 

very low, 

They take the Hill-tops to their breast, 

And lay their arms about the fields. 

The wind that fans me lying low, 
Restless with great desire for rest, 
No cooling touch of freshness yields. 

I, sleepless through the stifling heat, 
Watch the pale Lightning's constant glow 
Between the wide set open doors. 
I lie and long amidst the heat, 
The fever that my senses know, 
For that cool slenderness of yours. 

So delicate and cool you are! 
A roseleaf that has lain in snow, 
A snowflake tinged with sunset fire. 
You do not know, so young you are, 
How Fever fans the senses' glow 
To uncontrollable desire! 

And fills the spaces of the night 
With furious and frantic thought, 
One would not dare to think by day. 

99 



Third Ah, if you came to me to-night 

Song, These visions would be turned to naught, 

written These hateful dreams be held at bay! 

during 

p But you are far, and Loneliness 

My only lover through the night, 
And not for any word or prayer 
Would you console my loneliness 
Or lend yourself, serene and slight, 
And the cool clusters of your hair. 

All through the night I long for you, 

As shipwrecked men in tropics yearn 

For the fresh flow of streams and springs. 

My fevered fancies follow you 

As dying men in deserts turn 

Their thoughts to clear and chilly things. 

Such dreams are mine, and such my thirst, 

Unceasing and unsatisfied, 

Until the night is burnt away 

Among these dreams and fevered thirst, 

And, through the open doorways, glide 

The white feet of the coming day. 



100 



THE REGRET OF THE RANEE 
IN THE HALL OF PEACOCKS 



'HIS MAN HAS TAKEN MY 

Husband's life 

And laid my Brethren low, 

No sister indeed, were I, no wife, 

To pardon and let him go. 

Yet why does he look so young and slim 
As he weak and wounded lies? 
How hard for me to be harsh to him 
With his soft, appealing eyes. 

His hair is ruffled upon the stone 
And the slender wrists are bound, 
So young! and yet he has overthrown 
His scores on the battle ground. 

Would I were only a slave to-day, 
To whom it were right and meet 
To wash the stains of the War away, 
The dust from the weary feet. 

Were I but one of my serving girls 

To solace his pain to rest! 

Shake out the sand from the soft loose curls, 

And hold him against my breast! 

101 



The Regret 
of the 
Ranee in 
the Hall of 
Peacocks 



Have we such beauty about our Throne? 
Such lithe and delicate strength? 
Would God that I were the senseless stone 
To support his slender length! 

I hate those wounds that trouble my sight, 
Unknown! how I wish you lay, 
Alone in my silken tent to-night 
While I charmed the pain away! 

I would lay you down on the Royal bed, 
I would bathe your wounds with wine, 
And setting your feet against my head 
Dream you were lover of mine. 

My Crown is heavy upon my hair, 
The Jewels weigh on my breast, 
All I would leave, with delight, to share 
Your pale and passionate rest! 

But hands grow restless about their swords, 
Lips murmur below their breath, 
"The Queen is silent too long!" "My Lords, 
-Take him away to death!" 






102 



THE REGRET OF THE RANEE IN THE HALL OF 

THE PEACOCKS 



PROTEST: BY ZAHIR-U-DIN 

A ALAS! THIS WASTED NIGHT 
With all its Jasmin-scented air, 
Its thousand stars, serenely bright! 
I lie alone, and long for you, 
Long for your Champa-scented hair, 
Your tranquil eyes of twilight hue. 

Long for the close-curved, delicate lips 
Their sinuous sweetness laid on mine 
Here, where the slender fountain drips, 
Here, where the yellow roses glow, 
Pale in the tender silver shine 
The stars across the garden throw. 

Alas! alas! poor passionate Youth! 
Why must he spend these lonely nights? 
The poets hardly speak the truth, 
Despite their praiseful litany, 
His season is not all delights 
Nor every night an ecstasy! 

The very power and passion that make, 
Might make, his days one golden dream, 
How he must suffer for their sake! 
Till, in their fierce and futile rage, 
The baffled senses almost deem 
They might be happier in old age. 

103 



Protest: By Age that can find red roses sweet, 

Zahir-u-Din And yet not crave a rose-red mouth; 

Hear Bulbuls, with no wish that feet 
Of sweeter singers went his way : 
Inhale warm breezes from the South, 
Yet never feel his fancy stray. 

From some near Village I can hear 
The cadenced throbbing of a drum, 
Now softly distant, now more near; 
And in an almost human fashion, 
It, plaintive, wistful, seems to come 
Laden with sighs of fitful passion. 

To mock me, lying here alone 
Among the thousand useless flowers 
Upon the fountain's border stone. 
Cold stone, that chills me as I lie 
Counting the slowly passing hours 
By the white spangles in the sky. 

Some feast the Tom-toms celebrate, 
Where close together, side by side, 
Gay in their gauze and tinsel state 
With lips serene and downcast eyes, 
Sit the young bridegroom and his bride, 
While round them songs and laughter rise. 

104 



They are together; Why are we Protest: By 

So hopelessly, so far apart? Zahir-u-Din 

Oh, I implore you, come to me! 
Come to me, Solace of mine eyes! 
Come Consolation of my heart! 
Light of my senses! What replies? 

A little, languid, mocking breeze 
That rustles through the Jasmin flowers 
And stirs among the Tamarind trees. 
A little gurgle of the spray 
That drips, unheard, through silent hours. 
Then breaks in sudden bubbling play. 

Wind, have you never loved a rose? 
And water, seek you not the Sea? 
Why, therefore, mock at my repose? 
It is my fault I am alone 
Beneath the feathery Tamarind tree 
Whose shadows over me are thrown? 

Nay, I am mad indeed, with thirst 
For all to me this night denied 
And drunk with longing, and accurst 
Beyond all chance of sleep or rest, 
With love, unslaked, unsatisfied, 
And dreams of beauty unpossessed. 
P 105 



Protest: By Hating the hour that brings you not, 

Zahir-u-Din Mad at the space betwixt us twain, 

Sad for my empty arms, so hot 
And fevered, even the chilly stone 
Can scarcely cool their burning pain,- 
And oh, this sense of being alone! 

Take hence, Oh, Night, your wasted hours, 
You bring me not my Life's Delight, 
My Star of Stars, my Flower of Flowers! 
You leave me loveless and forlorn, 
Pass on, most false and futile night, 
Pass on and perish in the Dawn! 



106 



FAMINE SONG 



FAMINE SONG 

DVTH AND FAMINE ON EVERY 
side 
And never a sign of rain, 
The bones of those who have starved 
and died 

Unburied upon the plain. 
What care have I that the bones bleach white? 
To-morrow they may be mine, 
But I shall sleep in your arms to-night 
And drink your lips like wine! 

Cholera, Riot and Sudden Death 

And the brave red blood set free, 

The glazing eye and the failing breath, 

But what are these things to me? 

Your breath is quick and your eyes are bright 

And your blood is red like wine, 

And I shall sleep in your arms to-night 

And hold your lips with mine! 

I hear the sound of a thousand tears, 

Like softly pattering rain, 

I see the fever, folly and fears 

Fulfilling man's tale of pain. 

But for the moment your star is bright, 

I revel beneath its shine, 

107 



Famine For I shall sleep in your arms to-night 

Song And feel your lips on mine! 

And you need not deem me over cold, 

That I do not stop to think 

For all the pleasure this Life may hold 

Is on the Precipice brink. 

Thought could but lessen my soul's delight, 

And to-day she may not pine. 

For I shall lie in your arms to-night 

And close your lips with mine! 

I trust what sorrow the Fates may send 

I may carry quietly through, 

And pray for grace when I reach the end, 

To die as a man should do. 

To-day, at least, must be clear and bright, 

Without a sorrowful sign, 

Because I sleep in your arms to-night 

And feel your lips on mine! 

So on I work, in the blazing sun, 

To bury what dead we may, 

But glad, oh, glad, when the day is done 

And the night falls round us grey. 

Would those we covered away from sight 

Had a rest so sweet as mine! 

For I shall sleep in your arms to-night 

And drink your lips like wine! 

108 




THE WINDOW OVERLOOKING 
THE HARBOUR 

AD IS THE EVENING : ALL THE 

level sand 

Lies left and lonely, while the restless sea, 
Tired of the green caresses of the land, 
Withdraws into its own infinity. 

But still more sad this white and chilly Dawn 
Filling the vacant spaces of the sky, 
While little winds blow here and there forlorn 
And all the stars, weary of shining, die. 

And more than desolate, to wake, to rise, 
Leaving the couch, where softly sleeping still, 
What through the past night made my heaven, lies; 
And looking out across the window sill 

See, from the upper window's vantage ground, 
Mankind slip into harness once again, 
And wearily resume his daily round 
Of love and labour, toil and strife and pain. 

How the sad thoughts slip back across the night: 
The whole thing seems so aimless and so vain. 
What use the raptures, passion and delight, 
Burnt out; as though they could not wake again. 

109 



The 

Window 
Overlook- 
ing the 
Harbour 



The worn-out nerves and weary brain repeat 
The question: Whither all these passions tend;- 
This curious thirst, so painful and so sweet, 
So fierce, so very short-lived, to what end? 

Even, if seeking for ourselves, the Race, 

The only immortality we know, 

Even if from the flower of our embrace 

Some spark should kindle, or some fruit should grow, 

What were the use? the gain, to us or it, 
That we should cause another You or I, 
Another life, from our light passion lit, 
To suffer like ourselves awhile and die. 

What aim, what end indeed? Our being runs 
In a closed circle. All we know or see 
Tends to assure us that a thousand Suns, 
Teeming perchance with life, have ceased to be. 

Ah, the grey Dawn seems more than desolate, 
And the past night of passion worse than waste, 
Love but a useless flower, that soon or late, 
Turns to a fruit with bitter aftertaste. 

Youth, even Youth, seems futile and forlorn 
While the new day grows slowly white above. 
Pale and reproachful comes the chilly Dawn 
After the fervour of a night of love. 



1 10 



BACK TO THE BORDER 



TREMULOUS MORNING IS 
breaking 

Against the white waste of the sky, 
And hundreds of birds are awaking 
In tamarisk bushes hard by. 
I, waiting alone in the station, 
Can hear in the distance, grey-blue, 
The sound of that iron desolation, 
The train that will bear me from you. 

'Twill carry me under your casement, 
You'll feel in your dreams as you lie 
The quiver, from gable to basement, 
The rush of my train sweeping by. 
And I shall look out as I pass it, 
Your dear, unforgettable door, 
'Twas ours till last night, but alas! it 
Will never be mine any more. 

Through twilight blue-grey and uncertain, 
Where frost leaves the window-pane free 
I'll look at the tinsel-edged curtain 
That hid so much pleasure for me. 
I go to my long undone duty 
Alone in the chill and the gloom, 
My eyes are still full of the beauty 
I leave in your rose-scented room. 



ill 



Back to Lie still in your dreams; for your tresses 

the Border Are free of my lingering kiss. 

I keep you awake with caresses 
No longer; be happy in this! 
From passion you told me you hated 
You're now and for ever set free, 
I pass in my train sorrow weighted, 
Your house that was Heaven to me. 

You won't find a trace, when you waken, 
Of me or my love of the past, 
Rise up and rejoice! I have taken 
My longed-for departure at last. 
My fervent and useless persistence 
You never need suffer again, 
Nor even perceive in the distance 
The smoke of my vanishing train! 



112 



REVERIE: ZAHIR-U-DIN: 

For a thousand years, 'neath a thousand skies, 
Night has brought men Love " 




REVERIE : ZAHIR-U-DIN 

LONE, I WAIT, TILL HER TWILIGHT 

gate 

The Night slips quietly through 
With shadow and gloom, and 
.purple bloom, 
Flung over the Zenith blue. 

Her stars that tremble, would fain dissemble 

Light over lovers thrown, 

Her hush and mystery knows no history 

Such as day may own. 

Day has record of pleasure and pain, 

But things that are done by Night remain 

For ever and ever unknown. 

For a thousand years, 'neath a thousand skies, 
Night has brought men love; 
Therefore the old, old longings rise 
As the light grows dim above. 

Therefore, now that the shadows close, 
And the rnists rise weird and white, 
While Time is scented with musk and rose; 
Magic with silver light. 

I long for love; will you grant me some? 
Day is over at last. 
Come! as lovers have always come, 
Through the evenings of the Past. 
Swiftly, as lovers have always come, 
Softly, as lovers have always come 
Through the long-forgotten Past. 




SEA SONG 

AGAINST THE PLANKS OF THE CABIN 

side, 

(So slight a thing between them and me,) 
The great waves thundered and throbbed 
and sighed, 
The great green waves of the Indian sea! 

Your face was white as the foam is white, 
Your hair was curled as the waves are curled, 
I would we had steamed and reached that night 
The sea's last edge, the end of the world. 

The wind blew in through the open port, 
So freshly joyous and salt and free, 
Your hair it lifted, your lips it sought, 
And then swept back to the open sea. 

The engines throbbed with their constant beat; 
Your heart was nearer, and all I heard, 
Your lips were salt, but I found them sweet, 
While, acquiescent, you spoke no word. 

So straight you lay in your narrow berth, 
Rocked by the waves; and you seemed to be 
Essence of all that is sweet on earth, 
Of all that is sad and strange at sea. 

And you were white as the foam is white, 
Your hair was curled as the waves are curled. 
Ah! had we but sailed and reached that night, 
The sea's last edge, the end of the world! 

114 



TO THE HILLS! 



'IS EIGHT MILES OUT, AND 

eight miles in, 

Just at the break of morn. 

'Tis ice without and flame within, 

To gain a kiss at dawn! 

Far, where the Lilac Hills arise 
Soft from the misty plain, 
A lone, enchanted hollow lies 
Where I at last draw rein. 

Midwinter grips this lonely land, 
This stony, treeless waste, 
Where East, due East, across the sand, 
We fly in fevered haste. 

Pull up! the East will soon be red, 
The wild duck westward fly, 
And make above my anxious head, 
Triangles in the sky. 

Like wind we go; we both are still 
So young; all thanks to Fate! 
(It cuts like knives, this air so chill,) 
Dear God! if I am late! 

Behind us, wrapped in mist and sleep 
The Ruined City lies, 
(Although we race, we seem to creep!) 
While lighter grow the skies. 



To the Eight miles out only, eight miles in, 

Hills Good going all the way; 

But more and more the clouds begin 

To redden into day. 

And every snow-tipped peak grows pink 
An iridescent gem! 

My heart beats quick, with joy, to think 
How I am nearing them! 

As mile on mile behind us falls, 
Till, Oh, delight! I see, 
My Heart's Desire, who softly calls 
Across the gloom to me. 

The utter joy of that First Love 

No later love has given, 

When, while the skies grew light above, 

We entered into Heaven. 



116 



TILL I WAKE 

HEN I AM DYING, LEAN 

over me tenderly, softly, 
Stoop, as the yellow roses droop 
in the wind from the South, 
So I may when I wake, if there 

be an Awakening, 

Keep, what lulled me to sleep, the touch of 

your lips on my mouth. 




117 




HIS RUBIES: TOLD BY VAL- 
GOVIND 

LONG THE HOT AND ENDLESS 

road 

Calm and erect, with haggard eyes, 
The prisoner bore his fetters' load 
Beneath the scorching, azure skies. 

Serene and tall, with brows unbent, 
Without a hope, without a friend, 
He, under escort, onward went, 
With death to meet him at the end. 

The Poppy fields were pink and gay 
On either side, and in the heat 
Their drowsy scent exhaled all day 
A dream-like fragrance almost sweet. 

And when the cool of evening fell 
And tender colours touched the sky, 
He still felt youth within him dwell 
And half forgot he had to die. 

Sometimes at night, the Camp-fires lit 
And casting fitful light around, 
His guard would, friend-like, let him sit 
And talk awhile with them, unbound. 

118 



HIS RUBIES 



Thus they, the night before the last, HisRubies: 

Were resting, when a group of girls Told by 

Across the small encampment passed, Valgovind 
With laughing lips and scented curls. 

Then in the Prisoner's weary eyes 
A sudden light lit up once more, 
The women saw him with surprise, 
And pity for the chains he bore. 

For little women reck of Crime 
If young and fair the criminal be 
Here in this tropic, amorous clime 
Where love is still untamed and free. 

And one there was, she walked less fast 
Behind the rest, perhaps beguiled 
By his lithe form, who as she passed, 
Waited a little while, and smiled. 

The guard, in kindly Eastern fashion, 
Smiled to themselves, and let her stay 
So tolerant of human passion, 
" To love he has but one more day." 

Yet when (the soft and scented gloom 
Scarce lighted by the dying fire) 
His arms caressed her youth and bloom, 
With him it was not all desire. 

119 



His Rubies: 
Told by 
Valgovind 



" For me," he whispered, as he lay, 
" But little life remains to live. 
One thing I crave to take away : 
You have the gift; but will you give? 

" If I could know some child of mine 
Would live his life, and see the sun 
Across these fields of poppies shine, 
What should I care that mine is done? 

" To die would not be dying quite, 
Leaving a little life behind, 
You, were you kind to me to-night, 
Could grant me this; but are you kind? 

" See, I have something here for you, 
For you and It, if It there be." 
Soft in the gloom her glances grew, 
With gentle tears he could not see. 

He took the chain from off his neck, 
Hid in the silver charm there lay 
Three rubies, without flaw or fleck. 
She answered softly, " I will stay." 

He drew her close; the moonless skies 
Shed little light; the fire was dead. 
Soft pity filled her youthful eyes, 
And many tender things she said. 



120 



Throughout the hot and silent night His Rubies: 

All that he asked of her she gave. Told by 

And, left alone ere morning light, Valgovind 
He went serenely to the grave, 

Happy; for even when the rope 
Confined his neck, his thoughts were free, 
And centred round his Secret Hope 
The little life that was to be. 

When Poppies bloomed again, she bore 
His child who gaily laughed and crowed, 
While round his tiny neck he wore 
The rubies given on the road. 

For his small sake she wished to wait, 
But vainly to forget she tried, 
And grieving for the Prisoner's fate, 
She broke her gentle heart and died. 



121 



SONG OF TAJ MAHOMED 

DAR IS MY INLAID SWORD; ACROSS 
the Border 
It brought me much reward; dear is my 
Mistress, 
The jewelled treasure of an amorous hour 
Dear beyond measure are my dreams and Fancies. 

These I adore; for these I live and labour, 
Holding them more than sword or jewelled Mistress, 
For this indeed may rust, and that prove faithless, 
But, till my limbs are dust, I have my Fancies. 



122 



THE GARDEN OF KAMA: KAMA 
THE INDIAN EROS 



DAYLIGHT IS DYING, 

The Flying fox flying, 
Amber and amethyst burn in the sky. 
See, the sun throws a late, 
Lingering, roseate 
Kiss to the landscape to bid it good-bye. 

The time of our Trysting! 

Oh, come, unresisting, 

Lovely, expectant, on tentative feet. 

Shadow shall cover us, 

Roses bend over us, 

Making a bride chamber sacred and sweet. 

We know not Life's reason, 

The length of its season, 

Know not if they know, the great Ones above. 

We none of us sought it, 

And few could support it, 

Were it not gilt with the glamour of love. 

But much is forgiven, 

To Gods who have given, 

If but for an hour the Rapture of Youth. 

123 



The You do not yet know it, 

Garden of But Kama shall show it, 

Kama Changing your dreams to his Exquisite Truth. 

The Fireflies shall light you, 
And naught shall affright you, 
Nothing shall trouble the Flight of the Hours. 
Come, for I wait for you, 
Night is too late for you, 
Come, when the twilight is closing the flowers. 
. 

Every breeze still is, 

And, scented with lilies, 

Cooled by the twilight, refreshed by the dew, 

The garden lies breathless, 

Where Kama, the Deathless, 

In the hushed starlight, is waiting for you. 



124 



CAMP FOLLOWER'S SONG, 
GOMAL RIVER 

WE HAVE LEFT GUL KACH 
behind us, 
Are marching on Apozai,- 
Where pleasure and rest are 
waiting 
To welcome us by and by. 

We're falling back from the Gomal, 
Across the Gir-dao plain, 
The camping ground is deserted, 
We'll never come back again. 

Along the rocks and the defiles, 
The mules and the camels wind. 
Good-bye to Rahimut-Ullah, 
The man who is left behind. 

For some we lost in the skirmish, 
And some were killed in the fight. 
But he was captured by fever, 
In the sentry pit, at night. 

A rifle shot had been swifter, 
Less trouble a sabre thrust, 
But his Fate decided fever, 
And each man dies as he must. 

125 



Camp 

Follower's 

Song, 

Gomal 

River 



Behind us, red in the distance, 
The wavering flames rise high, 
The flames of our burning grass-huts, 
Against the black of the sky. 

We hear the sound of the river, 
An ever-lessening moan, 
The hearts of us all turn backwards 
To where he is left alone. 

We sing up a little louder, 
We know that we feel bereft, 
We're leaving the camp together, 
And only one of us left. 

The only one, out of many, 
And each must come to his end, 
I wish I could stop this singing, 
He happened to be my friend. 

We're falling back from the Gomal, 
We're marching on Apozai, 
And pleasure and rest are waiting 
To welcome us by and by. 

Perhaps the feast will taste bitter, 
The lips of the girls less kind, 
Because of Rahimut-Ullah, 
The man who is left behind. 



126 



SONG OF THE COLOURS: BY 
TAJ MAHOMED 

ROSECOLOUR 

K3E PINK AM I, THE COLOUR 
gleams and glows 
In many a flower; her lips, those tender doors 
By which, in time of love, love's essence flows 
From him to her, are dyed in delicate Rose. 
Mine is the earliest Ruby light that pours 
Out of the East, when day's white gates unclose. 

On downy peach, and maiden's downier cheek 
I, in a flush of radiant bloom, alight, 
Clinging, at sunset, to the shimmering peak 
I veil its snow in floods of Roseate light. 

AZURE 

Mine is the heavenly hue of Azure skies, 
Where the white clouds lie softly as seraphs' wings, 
Mine the sweet, shadowed light in innocent eyes, 
Whose lovely looks light only on lovely things. 

Mine the Blue Distance, delicate and clear, 
Mine the Blue Glory of the morning sea, 
All that the soul so longs for, finds not here, 
Fond eyes deceive themselves, and find in me. 

127 



Song of SCARLET 

the Colours Hail! to the Royal Red of living Blood, 
Let loose by steel in spirit freeing flood, 
Forced from feint forms, by toil or torture torn 
Staining the patient gates of life new born. 

Colour of War and Rage, of Pomp and Show, 
Banners that flash, red flags that flaunt and glow, 
Colour of Carnage, Glory, also Shame, 
Raiment of those whom women may not name. 

I hid in mines, where unborn Rubies dwell, 
Flicker and flare in fitful fire in Hell, 
The outpressed life-blood of the grape is mine, 
Hail! to the Royal Purple Red of Wine. 

Strong am I, over strong, to eyes that tire, 
In the hot hue of Rapine, Riot, Flame, 
Death and Despair are black, War and Desire, 
The two red cards in Life's unequal game. 

GREEN 

I am the Life of Forests, and Wandering Streams, 
Green as the feathery reeds the Florican love, 
Young as a maiden, who of her marriage dreams, 
Still sweetly inexperienced in ways of Love. 

Colour of Youth and Hope, some waves are mine, 
Some emerald reaches of the evening sky. 

128 



See, in the Spring, my sweet green Promise shine, Song of 
Never to be fulfilled, of by and by. the Colours 

Never to be fulfilled ; leaves bud and ever 
Something is wanting, something fells behind, 
The flowered Solstice comes indeed, but never 
That light and lovely summer men divined. 

VIOLET 

I were the colour of Things (if hue they had) 

That are hard to name. 

Of curious, twisted thoughts that men call " mad" 

Or oftener " shame." 

Of that delicate vice, that is hardly vice, 

So reticent, rare, 

Ethereal, as the scent of buds and spice, 

In this Eastern air. 

On palm fringed shores I colour the Cowrie shell 

With its edges curled. 

And deep in Datura poison buds I dwell 

In a perfumed world. 

My lilac tinges the edge of the evening sky 

Where the sunset clings. 

My purple lends an Imperial Majesty 

To the robes of kings. 

129 



Song of YELLOW 

the Colours Gold am I, and for me, ever men curse and pray, 

Selling their souls and each other, by night and day. 
A sordid colour, and yet, I make some things fair, 
Dying sunsets, fields of corn, and a maiden's hair. 

Thus they discoursed in the daytime, Violet, Yellow and Blue, 
Emerald, Scarlet, and Rose colour, the pink and perfect hue. 
Thus they spoke in the sunshine, when their beauty was manifest, 
Till the Night came, and the Silence, and gave them an equal rest. 



130 



LALILA TO THE FERENGI LOVER 




LALILA, TO THE FERENGI LOVER 

>HY ABOVE OTHERS WAS I SO 

blessed 

And honoured? to be the chosen one 
To hold you, sleeping, against my 
breast, 
As now I may hold your only son. 

Twelve months ago; that wonderful night! 
You gave your life to me in a kiss, 
Have I done well, for that past delight, 
In return, to have given you this? 

Look down at his face, your face, beloved, 
His eyes are azure as yours are blue. 
In every line of his form is proved 
How well I loved you, and only you. 

I felt the secret hope at my heart 
Turn suddenly to the living joy, 
And knew that your life in mine had part 
As golden grains in a brass alloy. 

And learning thus, that your child was mine, 
Thrilled by the sense of its stirring life, 
I held myself as a sacred shrine 
Afar from pleasure, and pain, and strife, 



Lalila, to That all unworthy I might not be 

the Ferengi Of that you had deigned to cause to dwell 

Hidden away in the heart of me, 
As white pearls hide in a dusky shell. 

Do you remember, when first you laid 
Your lips on mine, that enchanted night? 
My eyes were timid, my lips afraid, 
You seemed so slender and strangely white. 

I always trembled; the moments flew 
Swiftly to dawn that took you away, 
But this is a small and lovely you 
Content to rest in my arms all day. 

Oh, since you have sought me, Lord, for this, 
And given your only child to me, 
My life devoted to yours and his 
Whilst I am living will always be. 

And after death, through the long To Be, 
(Which, I think, must surely keep love's laws,) 
I, should you chance to have need of me, 
Am ever and always, only yours. 



132 




ON THE CITY WALL 

PON THE CITY RAMPARTS, LIT UP 

by sunset gleam, 

The Blue eyes that conquer, meet the Darker 

eyes that dream. 

The Dark eyes, so Eastern, and the Blue eyes from the West, 
The last alight with action, the first so full of rest. 

Brown, that seem to hold the Past; its magic mystery, 
Blue, that catch the early light, of ages yet to be. 

Meet and fell and meet again, then linger, look, and smile, 
Time and distance all forgotten, for a little while. 

Happy on the city wall, in the warm spring weather, 
All the force of Nature's laws, drawing them together. 

East and West so gaily blending, for a little space, 

All the sunshine seems to centre, round th' Enchanted place! 

One rides down the dusty road, one watches from the wall, 
Azure eyes would fain return, and Amber eyes recall; 

Would fain be on the ramparts, and resting heart to heart, 
But time o' love is overpast, East and West must part. 

Blue eyes so clear and brilliant! Brown eyes so dark and deep! 
Those are dim, and ride away, these cry themselves to sleep. 

" Oh, since Love is all so short, the sob so near the smile, 
Blue eyes that always conquer us, is it worth your while ?" 

133 



"LOVE LIGHTLY" 



-*HERE WERE ROSES IN THE HEDGES, 

and Sunshine in the sky, 

Red Lilies in the sedges, where the water rippled by, 
A thousand Bulbuls singing, oh, how jubilant they 
were, 
And a thousand flowers flinging their sweetness on the air. 

But you, who sat beside me, had a shadow in your eyes, 

Their sadness seemed to chide me,when I gave you scant replies; 

You asked " Did I remember?" and " When had I ceased to 

care?" 

In vain you fanned the ember, for the love flame was not there. 

"And so, since you are tired of me, you ask me to forget, 
What is the use of caring, now that you no longer care? 
When Love is dead, his Memory can only bring regret, 
But how can I forget you with the flowers in your hair?" 

What use the scented Roses, or the azure of the sky? 
They are sweet when Love reposes, but then he had to die. 
What could I do in leaving you, but ask you to forget, 
I suffered too, in grieving you, I all but loved you yet. 

But half love is treason, that no Lover can forgive, 
I had loved you for a season, I had no more to give. 
You saw my passion faltered, for I could but let you see, 
And it was not I that altered, but Fate that altered me. 

And so, since I am tired of love, I ask you to forget, 
What is the use you caring, now that I no longer care ? 
When Love is dead, his Memory can only bring regret, 
Forget me, oh, forget me, and my flower-scented hair! 

'34 



LOVE LIGHTLY' 



NO RIVAL LIKE THE PAST 

S THOSE WHO EAT A LUSCIOUS FRUIT, 

sunbaked, 

Full of sweet juice, with zest, until they find 
It finished, and their appetite unslaked, 
And so return and eat the pared-offrind;- 

We, who in Youth, set white and careless teeth 
In the Ripe Fruits of Pleasure while they last, 
Later, creep back to gnaw the cast-ofT sheath, 
And find there is no Rival like the Past. 





VERSE BY TAJ MAHOMED 

HEN FIRST I LOVED, I GAVE MY 

very soul 

Utterly unreserved to Love's control, 

But Love deceived me, wrenched my 

youth away 
And made the gold of life for ever grey. 
Long I lived lonely, yet I tried in vain 
With any other Joy to stifle pain, 
There is no other joy, I learned to know, 
And so returned to Love, as long ago. 
Yet I, this little while ere I go hence, 
Love very lightly now, in self-defence. 



136 



LINES BY TAJ MAHOMED 



'HIS PASSION IS BUT AN EMBER 
Of a Sun, of a Fire, long set, 
I could not live and remember, 
And so I love and forget. 

You say, and the tone is fretful, 
That my mourning days were few, 
You call me over forgetful 
My God, if you only knew! 



137 



THERE IS NO BREEZE TO COOL 
THE HEAT OF LOVE 



LISTLESS PALM-TREES CATCH 

the breeze above 

The pile-built huts that edge the salt Lagoon, 
There is no Breeze to cool the heat oflove, 
No wind from land or sea, at night or noon. 

Perfumed and robed I wait, my Lord, for you, 
And my heart waits alert, with strained delight, 
My flowers are loath to close, as though they knew 
That you will come to me before the night. 

In the Verandah all the lights are lit, 
And softly veiled in rose to please your eyes, 
Between the pillars flying foxes flit, 
Their wings transparent on the lilac skies. 

Come soon, my Lord, come soon, I almost fear 
My heart may fail me in this keen suspense, 
Break with delight, at last, to know you near. 
Pleasure is one with Pain, if too intense. 

I envy these; the steps that you will tread, 
The jasmin that will touch you by its leaves, 
When, in your slender height, you stoop your head 
At the low door beneath the palm-thatched eaves. 

138 






THERE IS NO BREEZE TO COOL THE HEAT 

OF LOVE" 



For though you utterly belong to me, There is no 

And love has done his utmost 'twixt us twain, Breeze to 

Your slightest, careless touch yet seems to be Cool the 

That keen delight so much akin to pain. Heat of 

The night breeze blows across the still Lagoon, 
And stirs the Palm-trees till they wave above 
Our pile-built huts; Oh, come, my Lord, come soon, 
There is no Breeze to cool the heat of love. 

Every time you give yourself to me, 
The gift seems greater, and yourself more fair, 
This slight-built, palm-thatched hut has come to be 
A temple, since, my Lord, you visit there. 

And as the water, gurgling softly, goes 
Among the piles beneath the slender floor; 
I hear it murmur, as it seaward flows, 
Of the great Wonder seen upon the shore. 

The Miracle, that you should come to me, 
Whom the whole world seeing, can but desire, 
It is as though some White Star stooped to be 
The messmate of our little cooking fire. 

Leaving the Glory of his Purple Skies, 

And the White Friendship of the Crescent Moon, 

And yet; I look into your brilliant eyes, 

And find content; Oh, come, my Lord, come soon. 

139 



There is no Perfumed and robed I wait for you, I wait, 

Breeze to The flowers that please you wreathed about my hair, 

Cool the And this poor face set forth in jewelled state 

Heat of So more than proud since you have found it fair. 

My lute is ready, and the fragrant drink 

Your lips may honour, how it will rejoice 

Losing its life in yours! the lute I think 

But wastes the time when I might hear your voice. 

But you desired it; therefore I obey 

Your slightest, as your utmost, wish or will, 

Whether it please you to caress or slay 

It would please me, to give obedience still. 

I would delight to die beneath your kiss; 
I envy that young maiden who was slain, 
So her warm blood, flowing beneath the kriss, 
Might ease the wounded Sultan of his pain. 

If she loved him as I love you, my Lord; 
There is no pleasure on the earth so sweet 
As is the pain endured for one adored; 
If I lay crushed beneath your slender feet. 

I should be happy! Ah, come soon, come soon, 
See how the stars grow large and white above, 
The land breeze blows across the salt Lagoon, 
There is no Breeze to cool the heat of love. 

140 



MALAY SONG 



* HE STARS AWAIT, SERENE AND 

white, 

The unarisen moon; 

Oh, come and stay with me to-night, 

Beside the salt Lagoon! 

My hut is small, but as you lie, 
You see the lighted shore, 
And hear the rippling water sigh 
Beneath the pile-raised floor. 

No gift have I of jewels or flowers, 
My room is poor and bare: 
But all the silver sea is ours, 
And all the scented air. 

Blown from the mainland; where there grows 
Th' "Intriguer of the Night," 
The flower that you have named Tuberose, 
Sweet scented, slim, and white. 

The flower that when the air is still, 
And no land breezes blow, 
From its pale petals can distil 
A phosphorescent glow. 

141 



Malay Song I see your ship at anchor ride; 
Her "captive lightning" shine. 
Before she takes to-morrow's tide, 
Let this one night be mine! 

Though in the language of your land 
My words are poor and few, 
Oh, read my eyes, and understand, 
I give my youth to you! 



142 



THE TEMPLE DANCING GIRL 

YOU WILL BE MINE; THOSE 
lightly dancing feet, 
Falling as softly on the careless street 
As the wind-loosened petals of a 
flower, 
Will bring you here, at the Appointed Hour. 

And all the Temple's little links and laws 
Will not for long protect your loveliness. 
I have a stronger force to aid my cause, 
Nature's great Law, to love and to possess! 

Throughout those sleepless watches, when I lay 
Wakeful, desiring what I might not see, 
I knew, (it helped those hours, from dusk to day,) 
In this one thing, Fate would be kind to me. 

You will consent, through all my veins like wine 
This prescience flows; your lips meet mine above, 
Your clear soft eyes look upward into mine 
Dim in a silent ecstasy of love. 

The clustered softness of your waving hair, 
That curious paleness which enchants me so, 
And all your delicate strength and youthful air, 
Destiny will compel you to bestow! 

143 



The Refuse, withdraw and hesitate awhile 

Temple Your young reluctance does but fan the flame, 

Dancing My partner, Love, waits, with a tender smile, 

Girl Who play against him play a loosing game. 

I, strong in nothing else, have strength in this, 
The subtlest, most resistless, force we know 
Is aiding me; and you must stoop and kiss, 
The genius of the race will have it so! 

Yet, make it not too long, nor too intense 
My thirst: lest I should break beneath the strain. 
And the worn nerves, and over-wearied sense, 
Enjoy not what they spent themselves to gain. 

Lest, in the hour when you consent to share 
That human passion Beauty makes divine 
I, over worn, should find you over fair, 
Lest I should die before I make you mine. 

You will consent, those slim, reluctant feet, 
Falling as lightly on the careless street 
As the white petals of a wind- worn flower, 
Will bring you here, at the Appointed Hour. 



144 



THE TEMPLE DANCING GIRL 



HIRA-SINGH'S FAREWELL TO 
BURMAH 

Q THE WOODEN DECK OF THE 
wooden Junk, silent, alone, we lie, 
With silver foam about the bow, and a silver 
moon in the sky: 
L glimmer of dimmer silver here, from the 
anklets round your feet, 

Our lips may close on each other's lips, but never our souls 
may meet. 

For though in my arms you lie at rest, your name I have 

never heard, 

To carry a thought between us two, we have not a single word. 

And yet what matter we do not speak, when the ardent eyes 

have spoken, 

The way of love is a sweeter way, when the silence is unbroken. 

As a wayward Fancy, tired at times, of the cultured Damask 

Rose, 

Drifts away to the tangled copse, where the wild Anemone 

grows; 

So the ordered and licit love ashore, is hardly fresh and free 

As this light love in the open wind and salt of the outer sea. 

So sweet you are, with your tinted cheeks and your small 
caressive hands, 

What if I carried you home with me, where our Golden 
Temple stands? 

u 145 



Hira- Yet, this were folly indeed; to bind, in fetters of permanence, 

Singh's A passing dream whose enchantment charms because of its 

Farewell to transience. 

Life is ever a slave to Time; we have but an hour to rest, 

Her steam is up and her lighters leave, the vessel that takes 

me west; 

And never again we two shall meet, as we chance to meet 

to-night, 

On the Junk, whose painted eyes gaze forth, in desolate want 

of sight. 

And what is love at its best, but this? conceived by a passing 

glance, 

Nursed and reared in a transient mood, on a drifting Sea of 

Chance. 

For rudderless craft are all our loves, among the rocks and 

the shoals, 

Well we may know one another's speech, but never each 

other's souls. 

Give here your lips and kiss me again, we have but a moment 

more, 

Before we set the sail to the mast, before we loosen the oar. 

Good-bye to you, and my thanks to you, for the rest you let 

me share, 

While this night drifted away to the Past, to join the Nights 

that Were. 

146 



STARLIGHT 

a, BEAUTIFUL STARS, WHEN YOU 
see me go 
Hither and thither, in search of love, 
Do you think me faithless, who gleam and glow 
Jerene and fixed in the blue above? 
Oh, Stars, so golden, it is not so. 

But there is a garden I dare not see, 
There is a place where I fear to go, 
Since the charm and glory of life to me 
The brown earth covered there, long ago. 
Oh, Stars, you saw it, you know, you know. 

Hither and thither I wandering go, 
With aimless haste and wearying fret; 
In a search for pleasure and love? Not so, 
Seeking desperately to forget. 
You see so many, Oh, Stars, you know. 




SAMPAN SONG 

LITTLE BREEZE BLEW OVER 
the sea, 

And it came from far away, 
Across the fields of millet and rice, 
All warm with sunshine and sweet with 

spice, 

It lifted his curls and kissed him thrice, 

As upon the deck he lay. 

It said, "Oh, idle upon the sea, 
Awake and with sleep have done, 
Haul up the widest sail of the prow, 
And come with me to the rice fields now, 
She longs, oh, how can I tell you how, 
To show you your first-born son!" 



148 



SONG OF THE DEVOTED SLAVE 



SONG OF THE DEVOTED SLAVE 



'HERE IS ONE GOD: MAHOMED HIS PROPHET. 

Had I his power 

I would take the topmost peaks of the snow-clad 

Himalayas, 

And range them around your dwelling, during the 
heats of summer, 

To cool the airs that fan your serene and delicate presence, 
Had I the power. 

Your courtyard should ever be filled with the fleetest of camels 
Laden with inlaid armour, jewels and trappings for horses, 
Ripe dates from Egypt, and spices and musk from Arabia. 
And the sacred waters of Zem-Zem well; transported thither, 
Should bubble and flow in your chamber, to bathe the delicate 
Slender and wayworn feet of my Lord, returning from travel, 
Had I the power. 

Fine woven silk, from the further East, should conceal your 

beauty, 

Clinging around you in amorous folds; caressive, silken, 

Beautiful, long-lashed, sweet-voiced Persian boys should, 

kneeling, serve you, 

And the floor beneath your sandalled feet should be smooth 

and golden, 

Had I the power. 

149 



Song of the And if ever your clear and stately thoughts should turn to 
Devoted women, 

Kings' daughters, maidens, should be appointed to your 

caresses, 

That the youth and the strength of my Lord might never be 

wasted 

In light or sterile love; but enrich the world with his children. 

Whilst I should sit in the outer court of the Water Palace 
To await the time when you went forth, for Pleasure or War- 
fare, 

Descending the stairs rose crowned, or armed and arrayed in 
purple, 

To mark the place where your steps had fallen, and kiss the 
footprints, 
Had I the power. 



THE SINGER 

SINGER ONLY SANG THE JOY 

of Life, 

For all too well, alas! the singer knew 
How hard the daily toil, how keen the strife, 
How salt the falling tear; the joys how few. 

He who thinks hard soon finds it hard to live, 
Learning the Secret Bitterness of Things: 
So, leaving thought, the singer strove to give 
A level lightness to his lyric strings. 

He only sang of Love; its joy and pain, 
But each man in his early season loves; 
Each finds the old, lost Paradise again, 
Unfolding leaves, and roses, nesting doves. 

And though that sunlit time flies all too fleetly, 
Delightful Days that dance away too soon! 
Its early morning freshness lingers sweetly 
Throughout life's grey and tedious afternoon. 

And he, whose dreams enshrine her tender eyes, 
And she, whose senses wait his waking hand, 
Impatient youth, that tired but sleepless lies, 
Will read perhaps, and reading, understand. 

Oh, roseate lips he would have loved to kiss, 
Oh, eager lovers that he never knew! 
What should you know of him, or words of his, 
But all the songs he sang were sung for you! 



MALARIA 

E LURKS AMONG THE REEDS, 

beside the marsh, 
Red oleanders twisted in His hair, 
His eyes are haggard and His lips are 
harsh, 
Upon His breast the bones show gaunt and bare. 

The green and stagnant waters lick His feet, 
And from their filmy, iridescent scum 
Clouds of mosquitoes, gauzy in the heat, 
Rise with His gifts: Death and Delirium. 

His messengers: they bear the deadly taint 
On spangled wings aloft and far away, 
Making thin music, strident and yet faint, 
From golden eve to silver break of day. 

The baffled sleeper hears th' incessant whine 
Through his tormented dreams, and finds no rest. 
The thirsty insects use his blood for wine, 
Probe his blue veins and pasture on his breast. 

While far away He in the marshes lies, 
Staining the stagnant water with His breath, 
An endless hunger burning in His eyes, 
A famine unassuaged, whose food is Death. 

152 



He hides among the ghostly mists that float Malaria 

Over the water, weird and white and chill, 
And peasants, passing in their laden boat, 
Shiver and feel a sense of coming ill. 

A thousand burn and die; He takes no heed, 
Their bones, unburied, strewn upon the plain, 
Only increase the frenzy of His greed 
To add more victims to th' already slain. 

He loves the haggard frame, the shattered mind, 
Gloats with delight upon the glazing eye, 
Yet, in one thing His cruelty is kind, 
He sends them lovely dreams before they die; 

Dreams that bestow on them their heart's desire, 
Visions that find them mad, and leave them blest 
To sink, forgetful of the fever's fire, 
Softly, as in a lover's arms, to rest. 



x 




FANCY 

AR IN THE FURTHER EAST THE 
skilful craftsman 

Fashioned this fancy for the West's delight. 
This rose and azure Dragon, crouching softly 
Upon the satin skin, close-grained and white. 

And you lay silent, while his slender needles 
Pricked the intricate pattern on your arm, 
Combining deftly Cruelty and Beauty, 
That subtle union, whose child is charm. 

Charm irresistible: the lovely something 
We follow in our dreams, but may not reach, 
The unattainable Divine Enchantment, 
Hinted in music, never heard in speech. 

This from the blue design exhales towards me, 
As incense rises from the Homes of Prayer, 
While the unfettered eyes, allured and rested, 
Urge the forbidden lips to stoop and share; 

Share in the sweetness of the rose and azure 
Traced in the Dragon's form upon the white 
Curve of the arm. Ah, curb thyself, my fancy, 
Where would'st thou drift in this enchanted flight? 



FEROZA 



FEROZA 



'HE EVENING SKY WAS AS GREEN 

as Jade, 

As Emerald turf by Lotus lake, 

Behind the Kafila far she strayed, 

(The Pearls are lost if the Necklace break!) 

A lingering freshness touched the air 
From palm-trees, clustered around a Spring, 
The great, grim Desert lay vast and bare, 
But Youth is ever a careless thing. 

The Raiders threw her upon the sand, 
Men of the Wilderness know no laws, 
They tore the Amethysts off her hand, 
And rent the folds of her veiling gauze. 

They struck the lips that they might have kissed, 
Pitiless they to her pain and fear, 
And wrenched the gold from her broken wrist, 
No use to cry; there were none to hear. 

Her scarlet mouth and her onyx eyes, 
Her braided hair in its silken sheen, 
Were surely meet for a Lover's prize, 
But Fate dissented, and stepped between. 

Across the Zenith the vultures fly, 
Cruel of beak and heavy of wing. 
Thus it was written that she should die. 
Inshallah! Death is a transient thing. 

'55 



THIS MONTH THE ALMONDS 
BLOOM AT KANDAHAR 

HATE THIS CITY, SEATED ON THE 

Plain, 

The clang and clamour of the hot Bazar, 

Knowing, amid the pauses of my pain, 

This month the Almonds bloom in Kandahar. 

The Almond-trees, that sheltered my Delight, 
Screening my happiness as evening fell. 
It was well worth that most Enchanted Night 
This life in torment, and the next in Hell! 

People are kind to me; one More than Kind, 
Her lashes lie like fans upon her cheek, 
But kindness is a burden on my mind, 
And it is weariness to hear her speak. 

For though that Kaffir's bullet holds me here 
My thoughts are ever free, and wander far, 
To where the Lilac Hills rise, soft and clear, 
Beyond the Almond Groves of Kandahar. 

He followed me to Sibi, to the Fair, 
The Horse-fair, where he shot me weeks ago, 
But since they fettered him I have no care 
That my returning steps to health are slow. 



They will not loose him till they know my fate, 
And I rest here till I am strong to slay, 
Meantime, my Heart's Delight may safely wait 
Among the Almond blossoms, sweet as they. 

That cursed Kaffir! Well, he won by day, 
But I won, what I so desired, by night, 
My arms held what his lack till Judgment Day! 
Also, the game is not yet over quite! 

Wait, Amir Ali, wait till I come forth 
To kill, before the Almond-trees are green, 
To raze thy very Memory from the North, 
So that thou art not, and thou hast not been! 

Aha! Friend Amir Ali! it is Duty 
To rid the World from Shiah dogs like thee, 
They are but ill-placed moles on Islam's beauty 
Such as the Faithful cannot calmly see! 

Also thy bullet hurts me not a little, 
Thy Shiah blood might serve to salve the ill. 
Maybe some Afghan Promises are brittle; 
Never a Promise to oneself, to kill ! 

Now I grow stronger, I have days of leisure 
To shape my coming Vengeance as I lie, 
And, undisturbed by call of War or Pleasure, 
Can dream of many ways a man may die. 



This 

Month the 
Almonds 
Bloom at 
Kandahar 



This 

Month the 
Almonds 
Bloom at 
Kandahar 



I shall not torture thee, thy friends might rally, 
Some Fate assist thee and prove false to me, 
Oh! shouldst thou now escape me, Amir Ali, 
This would torment me through Eternity! 

Aye, ShurTa-Jan, I will be quiet indeed, 
Give here the Hakim's powder if thou wilt, 
And thou mayst sit, for I perceive thy need, 
And rest thy soft-haired head upon my quilt. 

Thy gentle love will not disturb a mind 
That loves and hates beneath a fiercer Star. 
Also, thou know'st, my Heart is left behind, 
Among the Almond-trees of Kandahar! 



LETCHWORTH AT THE ARDEN PRESS 




PLEASE 00 NOT REMOVE 
CARDS OR SLIPS FROM THIS POCKET 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY